Chesapeake Files Registration for Spin-off (CHK, GS, BAC)

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Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) will spin-off its wholly-owned oilfield services business into a new company to be called Chesapeake Oilfield Services Inc., which will trade on the NYSE under the stock symbol ‘COS’. The filing indicates that the company hopes to raise $862.5 million from the offering, but the filing does not indicate how many shares will be sold. Underwriters for the offering are Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and Bank of America Corp.’s (NYSE: BAC) Merrill Lynch.

Chesapeake Energy will control the oilfield services business following the spin-off through its ownership of all the new company’s shares of Class B common stock:

Chesapeake will continue to control our business and will be able to control all matters requiring the approval of our shareholders, including the election of directors and the approval of significant corporate transactions.

The S-1 filing shows that services business revenues have doubled from about $650 million in 2009 to $1.3 billion into 2011, and a net loss of about $40.4 million in 2009 is now a net profit of about $19.8 million. That’s a pretty nice turnaround at a time when natural gas prices are at near-record lows.

The filing is available here.

Paul Ausick