SAExploration Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SAEX) said June 27 it plans to acquire certain assets of Geokinetics Inc., which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy a day earlier.
The oilfield service companies are pursuing a sale process in conjunction with Geokinetics' bankruptcy proceeding in which SAExploration entered an asset purchase agreement that will be used as a "stalking horse" bid. The terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
Headquartered in Houston, Geokinetics specializes in acquiring and processing seismic data in challenging environments worldwide. The company is one of the world’s largest independent land and seafloor geophysical services provider, according to its website.
As part of its stalking-horse bid, SAExploration offered to acquire Geokinetics' equipment and machinery, seismic processing software and equipment, and certain contracts with large E&P companies.
“We are excited for the opportunity to acquire these complementary assets, which will allow us to continue to provide, and in many instances enhance, our seismic data acquisition and logistical support services,” Jeff Hastings, chairman and CEO of SAExploration, said in a statement.
Also based in Houston, SAExploration is an internationally-focused oilfield services company offering a full range of vertically-integrated seismic data acquisition and logistical support services in remote and complex environments throughout Alaska, Canada, South America, Southeast Asia and West Africa.
SAExploration has also dealt with its own financial challenges following the 2014 collapse in oil prices, which eventually led to the company entering a restructuring support agreement with bond-holders late last year. The restructuring included an exchange offer of its existing notes that closed January.
In total, SAExploration reduced its long-term debt by roughly $78 million and lowered its cash interest expense by about $7.8 million per year through the restructuring of its balance sheet.
“This past year was the most challenging period in our company's history,” Hastings said in a statement in March. “We entered the downcycle with a very strong and robust backlog of contracted projects. However, the delay in the recovery of the broader market has inhibited our ability to replace this healthy backlog to support our near-term operations. This dislocation materially impacted our financial results for 2017.”
However, Hastings said June 27 following the comprehensive realignment of SAExploration's entire capital structure earlier this year, the acquisition of Geokinetics' assets could accelerate the company's recovery and further position it for long-term growth and sustainable success.
“Upon an improvement in exploration activity, we expect most of these assets to offer the ability to capture meaningful cost synergies by reducing or eliminating our need to rent equipment,” he said. “Most importantly, this transaction should enable us to create relationships with new customers in new markets and further expand relationships with many of our existing customers.”
The acquisition from LLOG Exploration and its affiliates is expected to strengthen Murphy’s GoM portfolio at a “very attractive price,” Murphy Oil CEO Roger W. Jenkins says.
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