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Samson Resources says may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. oil and gas producer Samson Resources Corp said in a filing on Tuesday that it might file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection if the company is unable to refinance its debt obligations.

The company, which was acquired in a $7.2 billion deal in 2011 by a team of investors led by KKR & Co, had a total debt of about $3.9 billion as of Dec. 31.

Samson Resources, which is currently evaluating strategic alternatives to address its liquidity issues and high debt levels, said a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing “may provide the most expeditious manner” for capital.

The company had earlier hired restructuring advisers Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Blackstone Group LP, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company, which had about $23.8 million in cash and cash equivalents as Dec. 31, had reported losses of over $4 billion since 2011 buyout.
KKR, which overpaid for Samson, was planning to shift Samson’s assets from natural gas production more into oil and liquids before oil prices started falling.

Global benchmark Brent crude closed at $55.11 per barrel on Tuesday. Prices were just shy of $116 in June.

The private equity firm has already sold almost half its acreage to cope with lower energy prices, according to people familiar with the matter.