Aug. 23, 2016 02:38 PM
Photo by Robin May

[UPDATE: Stone Energy confirms its first and second round of out-of-court restructuring talks with an “ad hoc” group of investors has failed.]

Lafayette-based Stone Energy Corp., which has been in debt restructuring talks with note holders, is negotiating to sell its Appalachian assets in a deal that could fetch $350 million, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

The potential buyer isn’t related to the group of note holders, to which it has offered $150 million of sale proceeds, the independent oil and gas producer noted in an SEC filing Tuesday. Other proceeds would pay down bank debt and provide working capital, according to the filing.

Bloomberg noted that earlier this year interested parties expressed a willingness to pay $250 million to $400 million for the assets.

Earlier this year, Stone said it was entertaining the possibility of a prepackaged bankruptcy amid a steep decline in oil prices.

According to the Bloomberg story, as of Aug. 1, 90 oil and gas producers have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of 2015.

“Stone’s balance sheet remains in a precarious situation and a restructuring is probable,” John Gerdes, head of research at KLR Group LLC, said in a note to clients Tuesday. “We would not advise ‘fresh’ money to invest” in the company.

The announcement was made before regular trading began in U.S. markets. Stone fell 16 percent Monday to $11.76. The shares have tumbled 73 percent this year.

Stone’s assets in West Virginia and Pennsylvania as of January 2014 included leasehold rights in the Marcellus shale basin, America’s biggest gas play by volume.

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