Quanta Services promotes CFO to operations role

Quanta Services has promoted CFO Derrick Jensen to Executive VP, Business Operations. The company is the third Houston-area public company this week to promote its CFO, following Halliburton and US Well Services.



Jayshree Desai moves from Chief Corporate Development Officer to CFO. Both changes are effective July, 2022.

Quanta designs, installs, repairs and maintains energy and communications infrastructure. It has revenues of $13 billion and a market capitalization of $17 billion.

Mr. Jansen has been with Quanta since its inception in 1997 and has been the CFO for the last 10 years.

Ms. Desai joined Quanta in January 2020. She was previously the founder of a renewable energy company focused on utility-scale wind, solar and storage development and COO of a electric transmission development company. Prior to that, she was CFO of EDP Renewables North America.

No new compensation arrangements for either executive were disclosed.

SEC filing – Quanta CFO change

 

Leadership changes at US Well Services

US Well Services Nyx Clean Fleet® Frac Unit

Kyle O’Neil, CFO of US Well Services, has been promoted to CEO, replacing co-founder, Joel Broussard, who becomes non-executive Chairman. Josh Shapiro, currently VP of Finance, is promoted to CFO.



Poor financial performance

US Well Services is a struggling pressure pumping company that has its head office in the Galleria area of Houston.  The company was founded in 2012 and it struggled even before it was taken public for $274 million by a SPAC in November 2018. In early 2017, the company had completed an out-of-court restructuring that resulted in $118 million of debt being converted to equity.

Mr. O’Neil was appointed CFO when the business went public and joined from TCW Direct Lending, the main equity shareholder.

The company’s unique selling point was that it had patented all-electric hydraulic fracturing which uses less fuel and generates less emissions than conventional diesel fleets. At the time of going public, it had 11 fracking fleets, including two that were electric-powered. It had plans to add five more electric units.

As of May 2021, the company still had 11 fleets, though five were electric. The company has since sold off its diesel units to become a pure-play electric fracking company. It is currently building four of its next generation units and will put them into service later this year.

As of December 2021, the company had negative shareholders’ equity of $129 million and debt of $172 million. The current stock price of USWS is 91 cents. The market cap is $64 million.

In with the new…

Mr. O’Neil will receive a base salary of $540,000 and was granted 600,000 deferred stock units that will vest over three years. He also received a performance stock award worth $650,000, that vests under certain conditions.

Josh Shapiro, the new CFO, joined the company in March 2019. Prior to that, he worked at Piper Sandler as an investment banker. His new base salary will be $400,000.

…Out with the old

Mr Broussard will receive a severance of $950,000, to be paid in three instalments over the next 18 months. He also received 1.1 million restricted stock units. Half vests in 6 months, the rest in 18 months.

The company also announced that Matt Bernard had resigned as Chief Administrative Officer. Mr. Bernard was also the CFO between 2015-2018.  Mr. Bernard isn’t receiving any severance. However, he has signed a consulting agreement that will pay him $13,417 monthly. The agreement can be terminated by either party with 30 days notice.

SEC filing – management changes

 

Halliburton appoints new CFO

Halliburton has appointed Eric Carre as its new CFO. He replaces Lance Loeffler, who has been promoted to Senior VP of Middle East and North Africa.

Halliburton has revenue of $16 billion, over 40,000 employees and a market capitalization of $32 billion.



Mr. Carre is currently the Executive VP, Global Business Lines and Chief Health, Safety and Environmental Officer. He started with Halliburton in 1991 as a Project Engineer and holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

Mr Carre’s former role, Global Business Lines, covered the Drilling & Evaluation and Completion & Production divisions as well as Landmark & Consulting, Project Management and Global Technology. Halliburton already had Executive VPs for Drilling & Evaluation (Rami Yassine) and Completion & Production (Michael Sugura) and they remain in place. It’s not clear who now has responsibility for Landmark & Consulting, Project Management and Global Technology.

Mr. Loeffler has been CFO since November 2018. He joined Halliburton in 2014 and was VP of Corporate Development and then Investor Relations before becoming the CFO. Previously he held director positions at Deutsche Bank and UBS Investment Bank.

Presumably both Mr. Carre and Mr. Loeffler are being groomed for the CEO position at some point. Current CEO Jeff Miller has been in that position since June 2017.

No compensation arrangements have been disclosed for either Mr. Carre or Mr. Loeffler.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220502005110/en/

 

Dental clinic operator indicted for not paying $1.7 million in taxes

Jonathan Louis Lepow, a dental clinic operator, has been indicted for failing to pay $1.7 million in employment taxes to the IRS.

Lepow operated the business side of his father’s dental practice, Kenneth A Lepow, DDS, Inc (‘Lepow DDS’) between 2005 and 2017. The practice is based in NW Houston.

According to the indictment, around 2012, Lepow stopped paying employment taxes to the IRS. The IRS assigned a Revenue Officer in 2014, who began contacting Lepow to bring the business into compliance. The outstanding tax obligation for 2012-2016 was $1.7 million.

Instead, Lepow allegedly deposited funds from Lepow DDS into the bank accounts of the Texas Center for Continuing Education. Beginning in 2016, he also allegedly deposited funds into the bank accounts for the benefit of Top Tree Agency Corp, a marijuana marketing business in Seattle.

If convicted, Lepow faces up to 10 years of imprisonment and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

Lepow DDS filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2017.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/dental-clinic-operator-arrested-failing-pay-17-million-taxes

Microvast appoints new CFO

Microvast has appointed board member, Craig Webster, as its new CFO. He replaces Leon Zheng, who has been CFO since 2010.



The company went public via a SPAC in July 2021. It now trades at $5.80 a share ($1.7 billion market cap). Microvast is a leading provider of vehicle battery technology for all types of vehicles. The company claims its batteries have longer range, quicker charging and longer lifespan than its competitors. It had initial success with electric buses, especially in China.  Its products operate in 160 cities in 19 countries.

The company was formed in Houston in 2006 by Yang Wu. Nominally, the company has its headquarters in Stafford where it has a 4,000 sq. ft. office. The main operations have been in Huzhou, China where the company has a manufacturing plant with 1.7 million sq.ft.  Mr. Wu had previously founded a water treatment company in Huzhou that he sold to Dow Chemical in 2006.

Mr. Zheng will stay on in a consulting capacity for 18 months. He will receive a fee of $25,000 a month.

Mr. Webster has served as a director of Microvast since 2012. Between 2005 and 2018, he worked for Ashmore Group, an emerging markets Investment manager. He is a UK citizen and currently resides in New Zealand. Mr. Webster will receive a base salary of $400,000 and will be required to relocate to the US to a region mutually agreeable between him and the company. (According to LinkedIn, CEO Mr. Wu lives in Hawaii, while the company has a new R&D facility in Orlando and a large manufacturing plant in Tennessee).

The company also announced the promotion of Mr. Sasha Rene Kelterborn to President. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the company. Currently based in Berlin, he will also relocate to the US, to a region mutually agreeable between him and the company.

SEC filing – Microvast CFO

LNG services company completes IPO

Excelerate Energy has completed its initial public offering by raising $384 million. The company  offered 16 million shares at $24 per share. This was at the high end of the range of $21 to $24 and values the company at over $2.5 billion.



The company originally filed back in January, but war in Ukraine has increased interest in LNG.

Excelerate, which has its head office in The Woodlands, provides flexible LNG infrastructure solutions, primarily in emerging markets. The company has a fleet of 10 Floating Storage Regasification units (FSRU).

Natural gas is cooled to approximately -160C at the source of production to reduce its volume down for transportation on an LNG carrier. The LNG needs to be brought back to its gas state at the area of consumption. One option is to have an LNG facility constructed on land, another is to do it offshore using a FSRU. The latter is often cheaper and quicker, especially in emerging markets.

Excelerate was formed in 2003 by George Kaiser, a Tulsa-based investor who is also the majority owner in BOK Financial Corporation (which also operates under the brands of Bank of Oklahoma and Bank of Texas).

For the 12 months ended September 2021, the company had revenues of $658 million. Currently the company has eight contracts in place for delivering regasified LNG to customers in Argentina, Brazil, Bangladesh, Israel, Pakistan and the UAE.

Steven Kobos has been the CEO of Excelerate since March 2018 and served as its counsel for the previous 11 years. Dana Armstrong is the CFO. She joined in April 2020 and was previously the CFO at Scientific Drilling.

S-1 filing – Excelerate Energy

Houston healthcare company goes public via reverse takeover

Nutex Health, a Houston-based operator of micro-hospitals, has gone public via a reverse takeover with Florida-based Clinigence Holdings.



Nutex owns and operates 14 facilities, with another 17 under construction. The hospitals offer emergency room care, inpatient care and behavioral health services. Most of the hospitals have less than 10 beds. Some of the hospitals are 100% owned by Nutex. Others are partly owned by physicians who provide services at that hospital.

Nutex was founded in 2011 by Chairman and CEO Tom Vo, M.D. The company has its head office in the Galleria area. It plans to open 100 micro-hospitals across the USA.

Clinigence started out as a healthcare information technology company. However, in early 2021, it pivoted to acquire AHP Health Management Services, which provides care for 22,000 patients in Los Angeles, though a network of 141 primary care physicians and 660 specialists.  AHP receives a fee per member, per month. Its shares were traded over-the-counter, but following the merger, the shares now trade on Nasdaq.

Nutex is forecasting revenues of $366 million for 2022 and an adjusted EBITDA of $201 million. In the merger it was valued $1.6 billion.

The CFO of the company will be Mike Bowen. He is based in Florida and has been the CFO of Accountable Healthcare America (AHA) since 2014. AHA, a medical management platform company, was acquired by Clinigence the same day it acquired AHP.

SEC filing – Nutex Health merger

Diamond Offshore to relist on NYSE

Diamond Offshore is returning as a public company. Its stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange from March 30 under the ticker symbol of ‘DO’.



The offshore driller, which has its head office in West Houston, owns four drillships and eight semisubmersibles. The company also manages three rigs for Aquadrill, which are currently warm stacked.

Diamond exited bankruptcy in April 2021, having converted $2 billion of debt into equity. The company put itself up for sale in August 2021, but in January it announced it would remain independent after failing to attract any satisfactory takeover offers.

Diamond expects revenues in 2022 of around $700 million, with adjusted EBITDA of approximately $60 million and capital expenditures around $57 million. The company still has net debt of $212 million, so it is projecting a negative free cash flow of $75 million. Obviously, the company believes the rising oil prices will lead to increasing rig day rates.

After exiting bankruptcy, most of the previous senior management left with large severances. CEO Marc Edwards left in April 2021 with a $6 million lump-sum cash severance. CFO Scott Kornblau and COO Ron Woll followed in September 2021 with severances of $653,000 and $876,000 respectively. That was on top of the cash bonuses they received while the company was in bankruptcy.

In October 2021, Mr. Kornblau joined Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corporation as its new CFO.

Bernie Wolford has served as the CEO since May 2021. He is the former CEO of Pacific Drilling. Dominic Savarino was promoted to CFO from Chief Accounting Officer, having been at the company since 2017.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/diamond-offshore-announces-relisting-on-nyse-301509630.html

10 Texas Doctors agree to pay $1.7 million to settle allegations of kickbacks

Ten Texas Doctors, including five from the Houston-area, have agreed to pay of total of $1.68 million to resolve allegations involving illegal kickbacks. There was no determination of liability.



The cases revolve around Little River Healthcare, an operator of a hospital (and related clinics) based in Rockdale, TX, located between Austin and College Station. Little River went into bankruptcy in June 2018 and closed in December of that year.

The Scheme

Between 2013 and 2016, the hospital embarked on an aggressive growth strategy by adding surgery centers, diagnostic imaging centers and over 50 physician offices. It utilized third party laboratories to perform tests that the hospital itself was unable to perform. They created a way for physicians, who were ordering tests from out-of-network laboratories to provide those services in-network through Little River’s hospital contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

Unfortunately, this way also involved volume-based commissions paid to independent contractor recruiters, who used management service organizations (MSO) to pay doctors for their referrals. That is illegal under Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded programs. The scheme ran from 2015 to 2018.

Settlements

The Houston doctors involved are (together with the settlement they have agreed to pay);

  • Tamar Brionez, M.D., Spring – $85,006
  • Rakesh Patel, D.O., Houston – $174,539
  • Cuong Trinh, M.D., Houston – $45,056
  • Randall Walker, M.D., Magnolia – $60,898
  • Michael Whiteley, D.O., Tomball – $52,015

The largest settlement involved Gary Goff, M.D. of Dallas who agreed to pay $454,088.

Back in January, in a related case involving Little River Healthcare, seven TX doctors and a hospital CEO agreed to settle allegations of kickbacks for $1.1 million.

Arbitration award

In 2016, BCBS started investigating Little River’s billing practices in relation to third party laboratories and started withholding payments to Little River. That caused a severe liquidity crisis for Little River which forced it into bankruptcy. Prior to bankruptcy, Little River had filed for arbitration in its dispute with BCBS. In May 2020, a Texas arbitrator awarded Little River $108 million.

 

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edtx/pr/ten-texas-doctors-and-healthcare-executive-agree-pay-over-168-million-settle-kickback

Murphy Oil CFO to retire

David Looney, CFO of Murphy Oil, has announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2022. He will be replaced by Tom Mireles, who is currently Senior VP of Technical Services.



Murphy Oil has a market capitalization of $5.6 billion. It is the 5th largest producer in the Gulf of Mexico and also has producing assets in onshore Canada and the Eagle Ford shale basin. The company also owns exploratory blocks or interests in Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Mexico and Vietnam.

In 2020, it moved its head office from El Dorado, Arkansas to the Memorial City area.

Mr. Looney, who is 64, joined the company as its CFO in 2018. Mr. Mireles joined the company in 2005 and has held various roles such as Senior Manager of Planning and Business Development and Senior VP in both Eastern and Western hemispheres.

Mr. Mireles will receive a base salary of $500,000.