By and large, when somebody describes a corporate financial transaction as "creative," there's a not-so-thinly veiled suggestion that it's not all quite on the up and up. In the case of Calpine's
In said transaction, the independent power generator has found a way to divest itself of its oil and gas assets to the tune of about $1.05 billion.
Rosetta Resources, currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Calpine, will sell 45.3 million shares worth $725 million in a private placement and tap a $325 million credit facility. With that money, Rosetta will then purchase those oil and gas assets from Calpine. Once the deal, scheduled to close on July 7, is complete, Calpine will no longer own any part of Rosetta.
While Calpine did not identify any of the purchasers of the stock, private-equity groups would be the most likely bet in my view. Since these shares are not registered, they cannot be sold on the open market--at least, not until a registration statement is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Though I'm not privy to the inner workings of the deal, it wouldn't surprise me if there were contracts in place between Rosetta and Calpine that stipulated Calpine would have to buy a certain amount of gas from Rosetta. To me, this makes sense to both parties -- Calpine would maintain a supply of the natural gas it needs, and Rosetta investors would have a certain amount of income more or less guaranteed.
Assuming this deal goes through, Calpine will have raised more than $2 billion from asset sales in the past two months. I posit that this should make it pretty clear even to die-hard doubters out there that Calpine management really is serious about trying to increase liquidity and shore up the company's solvency.
Of course, Calpine still has miles to go before it's on truly sound footing, but at least investors can now point to incremental progress from management. Investing in Calpine is still something of an exercise in speculative faith, but it does appear that the skies are getting a little brighter.
For more power-packed Foolishness on Calpine, check out:
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned.