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US Shale Producer Faces Biggest $10 Billion Bankruptcy
"The writing has been on the wall for quite a while now," said Kevin Kaiser, an analyst at research firm Hedgeye. Kaiser recommended in 2013 that investors short Linn.
"The company took on way too much debt, primarily in an effort to make distributions to its equity holders that it could never afford."
Linn Energy Says
Bankruptcy May Be
Linn Energy LLC (LINE.O) said on Tuesday that bankruptcy may be unavoidable as the oil-and-gas producer missed interest payments amid a slump in oil prices.
The company, which operates in California, Wyoming and North Dakota shale fields, said there was substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a "going concern" after it decided to skip interest payments due on Tuesday.
It said it has a grace period of 30 days to make interest payments totaling around $60 million.
"We are continuing to work with our advisors to review a full range of strategic alternatives to reduce the company's overall debt," Linn Chief Executive Mark Ellis said in a statement.
With around $10 billion in debt, Linn would be the largest U.S. oil company to seek bankruptcy protection in the current energy rout.
HIGH FLYER TAKES NOSEDIVE
About 40 oil and gas producers across the globe have filed for bankruptcy since oil prices began to decline in late 2014, and up to a third of all energy companies may fail unless prices recover, consulting firm Deloitte said last month.