Comstock Resources to become Haynesville leader with $2.2-billion acquisition


FRISCO and DALLAS -- Comstock Resources, Inc., and Covey Park Energy LLC have jointly announced that Comstock has entered into an agreement under which Comstock will acquire Covey Park in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion, including the assumption of Covey Park's outstanding debt and the retirement of Covey Park's existing preferred units which, in the aggregate, total approximately $1.1 billion. Covey Park is a privately held natural gas company with operations in the core of the Haynesville shale basin.

The acquisition of Covey Park complements and expands Comstock's position in the Haynesville shale and accelerates its progress towards its strategic and financial goals of sustainable free cash flow generation and reduced leverage. Transaction highlights include:

Comstock to become the basin leader in the Haynesville, a premier natural gas basin with superior economics

  • Over 1.1 Bcfed of net production, approximately 374,000 net acres and 5.4 Tcfe of SEC proved reserves and 7.6 Tcfe SPE proved reserves
  • 293,000 net Haynesville acres with approximately 2,000 net drilling locations, including approximately 1,300 net locations with lateral length over 5,000 ft
  • Combined management team that has drilled over 500 horizontal Haynesville shale wells

Free cash flow generation resulting from industry leading margins

  • Best-in-class natural gas unit cost structure with industry leading EBITDAX margin of 76%
  • EBITDAX of $935 million, based on pro forma annualized first-quarter 2019 results
  • Pro forma company expects to fund drilling plan within operating cash flow
  • Pro forma 2019 estimated leverage ratio of 2.9x, targeting a reduction to under 2.0x by 2021
  • Enhances capital efficiency and operating margins on a per unit basis while providing over $25 million in anticipated annual corporate G&A savings

Low cost, flexible natural gas marketing optionality

  • 500 mi of gas gathering infrastructure
  • Limited basis risk due to proximity to Gulf Coast demand and contracts tied to Henry Hub
  • Low gathering, treating and transport costs
  • No unmet minimum volume commitments

Aligns partners to achieve success

  • Successful Dallas businessman, Jerry Jones, will remain the Company's largest shareholder with 75% ownership interest and a cumulative investment of $1.1 billion
  • Denham Capital, a prominent energy focused private equity firm with $9.7 billion in invested and committed capital, becomes the second largest shareholder with approximately 16% common stock ownership interest

The transaction was unanimously approved by both companies' boards of directors. Upon closing of the transaction, Comstock's board of directors will be expanded to include Covey Park's Co-CEO John Jacobi and Jordan Marye, a managing partner of Denham Capital. The management team will be led by Comstock's current CEO M. Jay Allison, but will include representation from both management teams and will combine the two companies' operating staffs to retain talent and achieve an efficient organization.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys Football Club Ltd., stated, "I am excited to provide the funding and to team up with Denham Capital to combine the two companies to create the basin leader in the Haynesville shale. This combination is another step toward completing my vision to create an industry leading natural gas company."

M. Jay Allison, Comstock's CEO, commented, "After a year of evaluating several potential targets in the Haynesville shale, we believe we have found the perfect merger partner. This merger is an excellent fit with our existing acreage and continues our strategic plan of creating significant scale and resource depth in the Haynesville shale basin. The combined company will have a stronger balance sheet, enhanced by a large inventory of high quality, low cost and high return drilling opportunities. In integrating Covey Park we plan to focus on operating efficiency and having a combined drilling program that provides for substantial free cash flow to achieve our goal of reducing our leverage."

John Jacobi and Alan Levande, Co-CEOs of Covey Park, commented, "We are extremely proud of the company we built in the prolific Haynesville shale basin. We believe the combined company will possess a substantial scale advantage and an excellent foundation for significant organic growth with attractive cash flows going forward."

Jordan Marye, a managing partner at Denham Capital, added, "On behalf of Denham, we look forward to working with Jerry Jones and Comstock as the Company develops the prized assets the Covey Park team has assembled in the core of the Haynesville. We believe the combined teams and the Company's complementary asset base, along with the substantial support from Mr. Jones, make Comstock the ideal company to deliver the tremendous value associated with these assets."

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