Offshore Driller Fieldwood Energy Is Weighing IPO in 2019

(Bloomberg) -- Fieldwood Energy, an offshore oil and gas explorer that emerged from bankruptcy in April, is weighing an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Houston, Texas-based company is exploring filing a public offering in early 2019 that could value the company at more than $5 billion, said one the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.

A representative for Fieldwood declined to comment.

Fieldwood is one of the largest oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February after incurring too much debt in a $5 billion acquisition spree before oil prices crashed in 2014. It exited bankruptcy two months later after reaching an unusual restructuring agreement with a creditor group that included Riverstone Holdings LLC, its owner before it went to court.

The energy-focused buyout firm remains a large shareholder in Fieldwood after swapping some of its debt for new equity, according to court documents. Riverstone and other creditors also got the right to purchase shares in the post-bankrupt Fieldwood to help fund its purchase of Noble Energy Inc.’s Gulf of Mexico business, which closed in April.

Fieldwood is the largest oil and gas explorer in a shallow part of the Gulf known as the shelf, where it has more than 500 drilling platforms across 2 million gross acres, according to its website.

It was founded in 2012, when it secured a $600 million investment commitment from Riverstone. Over the next two years, it bought operations in the gulf from Apache Corp. and SandRidge Energy Inc.

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