Seismic company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

SAExploration Holdings has filed for Chapter 11 in a pre-packaged bankruptcy deal. The plan will reduce net debt by $74 million with the lenders getting new common stock in the company.

The company is based in west Houston and performs seismic operations around the world. It started out in Peru in 2006 as Exploración Sudamericana (South American Exploration). The company later expanded into Columbia (2008), Papua New Guinea (2010) and North America (2011). It went public in 2013 via a reverse takeover of a blank check company.



SAEX has reported recurring losses from operations and have not generated cash from operating activities for the six years ended December 31, 2019.

Fraud allegations

In February the company accused Jeff Hastings, the former CEO, and Brent Whiteley, the former CFO of misappropriating nearly $17 million. As a result, the company had to restate its financial results going back to 2014 and shareholder’s equity swung to a deficit that has grown to $33 million, at the time of filing. Investigations by the SEC, Department of Justice and the Alaska Department of Revenue continue.

The stock was delisted from NASDAQ in June 2020.

Debt reduction

The company has $60 million outstanding in convertible loan notes and $29 million on a term loan. It has received approval from 100% of the loan note holders and 82% of the term loan holders to eliminate these balances in exchange for a new first lien $15 million loan and 97.5% of equity in the newly-reorganized company.

The company also has a credit facility of $20.5 million, an equipment finance loan of $8.2 million and a PPP loan of $6.8 million. The credit facility will convert to a second lien facility for the same amount. The equipment finance and the PPP loans will remain outstanding.

SAEX – Declaration in support of Chapter 11 by CEO

 

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