Amshale Energy LLC Files to Restructure Debt and Close Operations of Louisiana Fertilizer Company, Lafert LLC
Amshale Energy LLC announced its intent to close its related Louisiana company Lafert LLC following a filing on September 23 for a chapter 11 plan for debt restructure. Amshale Energy LLC is an investment vehicle for upstream oil and gas project, which embarked on a $1.5 billion investment into a urea fertilizer plan in Louisiana. As reported by Dan Packer, the spokesman of Amshale Energy LLC, “Through Lafert LLC, Amshale acquired land rights to a strategic location on the Mississippi River in Shady Grove Louisiana, invested in FEED engineering and negotiated a tax incentive package with the local parish and the State of Louisiana.”
Unfortunately, Amshale Energy LLC, like many US energy companies, has had investment disrupted by dramatic market changes. “Amshale’s decided to recapitalize and restructure the assets of Lafert and move them in a different direction to pursue a higher return opportunity. Amshale and its investors remain very bullish of the future of American Shale production and feel confident that while Amshale investments will take additional time to mature, they will eventually exceed initial investment decision returns.” According to Packer, Amshale is convinced that new unconventional production technology and new long term energy infrastructure projects will have a game changing effect on the industry.
“Amshale expects the restructure to be fairly straightforward and the outcome will be positive for creditors and for Amshale investors,” says John Houghtaling, who’s strategic investment company Houghtaling Enterprises is a 15 percent stakeholder in Amshale Energy LLC.
Houghtaling was recently quoted in the restructure of Amshale Energy LLC in the Wall Street Journal. “As a strategic oil and gas investor, sometimes you pursue the market seemingly at the right time and the market takes you by surprise. Lafert LLC and the fertilizer market was one such example. We are very proud of Lafert CEO Dan Packer, and I was very pleased with the incentive package offered by my home state of Louisiana, by our governor and parish officials. However, Amshale decided it was the best decision to change direction with the market for a better opportunity for Lafert’s developed assets.”
Amshale’s restructure was driven by both the burdened cost of recapitalization and debt taken on from Lafert LLC assets and the pullback in oil prices, which slowed the maturity of additional investments. Packer stated, “I’m pleased to be part of what I think will be a very successful restructure.”
Houghtaling adds, “Today, Amshale follows the prudent path of many US energy companies in our space. We chose a conservative and proactive debt restructure to give us plenty of time and a margin of error to realize additional activities. Like many investors in the US energy market, we have a valuable stake in companies that simply need more time to monetize.”
John Houghtaling, known as the managing partner of the storied Gauthier Houghtaling law firm, has been involved in oil and gas investments for more than two decades having been involved in the development of the first IPP power plant in Central America. Houghtaling Enterprises was the initial investor in Ocean Therapy Solutions, a company cofounded with actor and environmentalist Kevin Costner. With Houghtaling as CEO, OTS deployed sophisticated centrifuge clean up technology with BP in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Dan Packer is an infrastructure and energy advisor to Amshale Energy LLC and was also the CEO of Lafert LLC. Prior to Lafert LLC, Packer served as the CEO and President of Entergy New Orleans Inc. from 1998 through the end of 2006. Before joining Entergy, he served as a senior engineer of General Physics Corporation. He also served as training coordinator of Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company for six years and as plant manager of Waterford 3 Nuclear Plant, becoming the first African American in the United States to manage a nuclear plant. Under his leadership, the plant received the highest ratings in the region. Packer served as the Chairman of Entergy New Orleans Inc. since 1999 and as the Chairman of the New Orleans Aviation Board for Louis Armstrong International Airport. He also served as National Chairman of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, which focuses on energy-related issues in America.