Tag Archives: CFO

Woodlands real estate company appoints new CFO

The Howard Hughes Corporation has appointed Correne Loeffler as its new CFO. She replaces David O’Reilly, who was promoted to CEO in December 2020. Ms. Loeffler was previously the CFO at Whiting Petroleum, based in Denver.



Howard Hughes is now based in The Woodlands, following its move from Dallas late last year. It is primarily a developer of residential master planned communities and has market capitalization of $5.4 billion.

Ms. Loeffler will receive a base salary of $500,000 and be eligible for annual cash bonuses of $900,000 and annual long-term equity awards worth up to $1.2 million, 50% of which will vest based on performance.

Ms. Loeffler was CFO at Whiting from August 2019 to September 2020. She left as Whiting exited from bankruptcy. In Chapter 11, the bondholders exchanged $3 billion of debt for 97% of the equity in the newly-reorganized company.

Ms. Loeffler was paid handsomely for her 13 months at the company

  • Base salary of $440,000
  • Signing bonus of $190,000 in 2019
  • Cash bonus of $2.2 million paid the day before Whiting filed for bankruptcy.
  • Severance payment of $880,000
  • Transition consulting services of $68,250

Whiting also paid $158,000 in relocation costs to relocate Ms. Loeffler from Houston to Denver.

Ms. Loeffler was VP, Finance and Treasurer at Houston-based Callon Petroleum from April 2017 to July 2019. Prior to that, she spent 11 years at J.P. Morgan Securities.

Howard Hughes Corp – CFO appointment

Huntsman CFO resigns to take senior position with LDS Church

Sean Douglas, the CFO of Huntsman Corporation, has announced he is resigning to take a senior leadership position with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His last day will be July 1, 2021.

Huntsman, a chemicals company with revenues of $6 billion, is based in The Woodlands. However, it was founded in 1970 in Utah by Jon Huntsman, Sr. The Huntsman family is Mormon and just last month, it was announced that James Huntsman, his son (but not an employee of the company), was suing the church, accusing it of spending members’ tithes meant for charity on commercial purposes.

Mr. Douglas has been the CFO since January 2017. He joined the company in 1990, though he left the company between 2012-2015 to perform charitable services for the Church.

The company has initiated a search for a new CFO and is evaluating both internal and external candidates. The company expects to appoint a new CFO before July.

SEC filing – Huntsman CFO resigns

 

E&P company appoints new CFO as it relocates to The Woodlands

Ring Energy has appointed Travis Thomas as its new CFO as it relocates its head office from Midland to The Woodlands. Former CFO Randy Broaddrick, who had been CFO since 2012, elected not to relocate from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the accounting office was based.



Ring is an E&P operator with properties in the Permian Basin. It has revenues of $108 million and a market capitalization of $245 million. In February 2019 it acquired assets in the Permian Basin for $300 million from Wishbone Energy Partners. $28 million of the consideration came through issuance of new equity at $6.20 per share, the rest came from a revolving line of credit.

Prior to the acquisition from Wishbone, the company had been conservatively run with little long-term debt. In February 2018, one year prior, it issued new stock at $14 per share. High debt and a declining share price is not good for management and shareholders and both Lloyd Rochford (Chairman and co-founder) and Kelly Hoffman (CEO) stepped down in September 2020.

New CEO and dissident shareholders

Paul McKinney was appointed CEO. He spent 23 years at Anadarko (hence The Woodlands connection) and 6 years at Apache. More recently he was CEO at Yuma Energy from April 2017 to January 2019 and at Sandridge Energy for 11 months in 2019.

Those short stints raised the ire of Dr. Simon Kukes, a 11% shareholder , who stated that Mr. McKinney was too connected to the old Board and was overpaid ($480,00 base salary). Dr. Kukes is the CEO of Pedevco, another E&P company headquartered in Houston, with properties in the Permian Basin.

CFO compensation

Mr. Thomas joined the company in October 2020 as its VP of Finance. Prior to that, he was the Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer at Paradox Resources, a private E&P company with its head office in downtown Houston. Mr. Thomas will receive a base salary of $290,000. His predecessor had a base salary of $195,000.

I’ve added Ring Energy to the list of Houston-area public companies. You can see the complete list here.

SEC filing – Ring Energy CFO appointment

CEO and CFO of Superior Energy leave with large severances

The CEO and CFO of Superior Energy Services have left the company with large severances just six weeks after the company exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy.



Superior, based in downtown Houston, announced back in September 2020 that it intended to file for a pre-packaged bankruptcy. It did not actually file until December. The company converted $1.3 billion of debt into equity as part of the restructuring.  At the time of filing, the company had negative shareholders’ equity of $250 million. The stock of the company had previously been delisted because the negative equity breached NYSE listing standards.

Overpriced Acquisition

The company’s debt problem stems all the way back to October 2011 when it agreed to buy Complete Production Services for $2.9 billion. It paid $553 million in cash and issued stock for the rest. As part of the deal financing, in December 2011, it issued $800 million of unsecured senior notes, due 2021, to repay $650 million of debt that Complete owed. The other $500 million of notes were also, effectively, issued in 2011, though they were refinanced in 2017.

Severance

David Dunlap had been CEO since 2010. He leaves with a payment of $3.7 million. This represents two times base salary plus target annual bonus plus pro-rated target annual bonus for 2021.

Westy Ballard, who was appointed the CFO in March 2018, receives $1.7 million on the same terms as Mr. Dunlap.

Cash retention bonuses

Prior to the filing in September 2020, the old Board paid cash retention bonuses (as advances) to Mr. Dunlap ($3.1 million) and Mr. Ballard ($1.1 million).  Today’s filing does not make clear whether the severance payments are in addition to the retention bonuses or instead of them. Unfortunately, the company didn’t file the waiver and release agreements that would have cleared this up.

Michael McGovern, the newly-appointed Chairman of the Board, was appointed the interim CEO, while the company conducts a search. James Spexarth, the Chief Accounting Officer, becomes interim CFO.

SEC filing – Superior Energy CEO CFO exit

 

 

CFO at Vaalco Energy to retire

Elizabeth Prochnow has decided to retire from her role as CFO of Vaalco Energy, effective March 31, 2021. She is the second Houston E&P CFO to retire this week, following Jim Ulm at Callon Petroleum.



Vaalco’s primary source of revenue is from offshore Gabon in West Africa. It also has an undeveloped block in offshore Equatorial Guinea. The company has revenues of $67 million and a market capitalization of $139 million.

Ms. Prochnow joined the company in May 2015 as its Chief Accounting Officer and was promoted to CFO in April 2019.  According to the press release issued by the company, her husband has recently retired and they wish to spend more time traveling and with her family.

The company has initiated an executive search for a new CFO. In the meantime, Jason Doornik, the company’s Chief Accounting Officer, will serve as the interim CFO.

SEC filing – Prochnow retires

Callon Petroleum CFO to retire in May

Jim Ulm, the CFO of Callon Petroleum, has told the company he plans to retire from the company in May 2021 due to personal and health reasons. The company has commenced a search for his successor.

The company is an E&P company focused on the Permian and Eagle Ford Basins and it has its head office in the Westchase area of Houston. Due to its high leverage, the company’s stock price is very sensitive to changes in crude oil prices. Its shares have risen eightfold since October as crude prices have risen. The market capitalization is now $1.8 billion. Callon took over Carrizo Oil and Gas in an all-stock transaction in December 2019 that valued Carrizo at $765 million.

Mr Ulm, 57,  joined Callon in December 2017 as its CFO. He was previously the CFO at other large E&P companies such as Fieldwood Energy and Pogo Producing.

SEC filing – Callon CFO retirement

 

Tidewater promotes from within for CFO position

Tidewater has promoted Sam Rubio to be its Chief Financial Officer. He is currently the Chief Accounting Officer and replaces Quintin Kneen, who was promoted from CFO to CEO in September 2019.  At the time the company said that the Board intended to conduct a search for a new CFO.



Tidewater provides offshore marine support and transportation services to the offshore energy industry. In 2020 it had revenues of almost $400 million and it currently has a market capitalization of $577 million. It moved its head office from New Orleans to Houston in 2018, shortly after exiting Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In late 2018, Tidewater acquired GulfMark Offshore for $385 million. Mr. Rubio had been appointed the CFO of GulfMark a few months earlier in 2018. He joined GulfMark in 2005 and became its Chief Accounting Officer in 2008.

No new financial compensation for Mr. Rubio was disclosed.

SEC filing – Tidewater Rubio appointment

CFO promoted to CEO at ENGlobal Corporation

Mark Hess has been appointed as the new CEO at ENGlobal Corporation. The company is an Engineering and Construction business with its head office in north Houston. It has a market capitalization of $142 million.



Mr. Hess replaces Bill Coskey, who is stepping down as CEO, effective March 12. Mr. Coskey co-founded the company in 1985 and has been the CEO on-and-off since that time. He will continue as the Chairman of the Board.  The last person, other than Mr Coskey, to be in the CEO role, held it for just over two years between May 2010 and July 2012.

Mr. Hess joined the company in July 2011 as its Corporate Controller and was promoted to the CFO position in September 2012.

Replacing Mr. Hess as CFO is Darren Spriggs, the current Corporate Controller. He joined the company in June 2019. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Accounting for ABM Industries.

Roger Westerlind, the President of the company’s US subsidiary since December 2000, was also promoted to Company President.

No new compensation details were disclosed.

SEC filing – ENGlobal CEO

Senior finance exec leaves Carriage Services

Viki Blinderman will be leaving her role of Chief Accounting Officer and Secretary of Carriage Services (‘CSV’) at the end of March. CSV is based in the Galleria and operates 180 funeral homes and 32 cemeteries in 27 states

In practical terms, Ms. Blinderman is the co-CFO alongside Ben Bright. For a time, between 2015 and 2017 that was their official titles. Since February 2017 Mr. Bright has been CFO while she has been Chief Accounting Officer and Secretary. However, for the past three years Ms. Blinderman and Mr. Bright have received the same salary, bonus and stock awards.

Ms Blinderman joined the company in 2002. She will continue to receive her base salary for two years ($300,000 per annum) and a one-time payment. This is not specified in the 8-K but she is entitled to a pro-rata bonus for 2021 ($37,500).

SEC filing – Blinderman

TETRA Technologies sells most of its interests in CSI Compresso

TETRA Technologies has sold most of its interests in CSI Compresso for $30.7 million. As a result, Compresso will no longer be consolidated in the results of Tetra. Both companies are publicly-traded and based in The Woodlands.



TETRA is mainly involved in completion fluids. It’s also the largest producer of Calcium Chloride which has many non-oilfield uses such as de-icing products. CSI Compresso provides compression services and equipment for natural gas and oil production.

The buyer of TETRA’s stake is Spartan Energy Partners, a PE-backed company, also based in The Woodlands. Spartan provides gas treatment, compression and processing solutions. Tetra will retain an 11% stake in CSI Compresso.

New management at CSI Compresso

TETRA’s CEO and CFO also held the same roles at CSI Compresso. They have resigned from the latter to be replaced by John Jackson, CEO of Spartan and Jonathan Byers, Head of Corporate Development at Spartan. Mr. Byers joined Spartan in 2010. Prior to that. he worked at Price Gregory and SCF Partners.

In connection with the sale, TETRA will continue to supply accounting, IT and other back office services to CSI Compresso for up to one year.

Compresso debt weighing down TETRA

TETRA and CSI Compresso always seemed an odd mix as the asset and capital structure required for the businesses are very different. Prior to the sale, TETRA had $843 million of debt, of which $637 million related to CSI Compresso. Even though there were no cross default provisions or cross guarantees on the debt, management felt the high debt levels weighed down TETRA’s stock price.

The deal brings to a close one of the more poorly-timed transactions in oilfield history. TETRA had a relatively small compression division until it agreed to buy Compressor Systems for $825 million in cash in July 2014. At the time, West Texas crude oil prices were over $100 a barrel. Oops.

SEC filing – TETRA sale of CSI Compresso

As an aside, Bloomberg published an article in October 2020 that stated that Calcium Chloride produced in TETRA’s Finland factory was being shipped to Peru, smuggled into Ecuador and used in cocaine production by Columbian drug lords. Not the non-oilfield diversification that TETRA was looking for! Bloomberg didn’t allege that TETRA had done anything wrong.