Friday, September 7, 2012

It's Official: Chesapeake Puts Texas Tower on the Market (CHK)

We heard the rumors back in June via CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, "Chesapeake Energy Appears to Be Selling Its Texas Office Tower (CHK)".

Here's the latest from the Wall Street Journal:
Chesapeake Energy Corp. CHK +3.25% had bold ambitions for the natural-gas fields of north Texas in 2008, when it bought a Fort Worth landmark and rechristened it the Chesapeake Plaza.

Now the cash-strapped driller, which is based in Oklahoma City, is trying to sell the glass-and-granite high-rise it bought for $104 million as it scales back its operations in Texas's Barnett Shale. The retreat is among the most dramatic examples of how America's second-biggest gas producer, known for its lavish spending, is grappling with a gas glut which has caused natural-gas prices to collapse and the company's revenue to shrivel.

Chesapeake is drilling in the Barnett with just two rigs, down from a peak of 44 in 2008. In June, the company in June laid off 70 workers in Fort Worth, the first cuts since 2009 to a staff of about 12,500. Last month, it confirmed that it plans to unload the 20-story tower, too.

The company was emerging as a natural-gas powerhouse in March 2008 when it acquired the 460,000-square-foot building in downtown Fort Worth from Pier 1 Imports Inc., paying about 60% above the assessed value. Chesapeake Plaza is now valued at $62.7 million, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District....MORE
Here's a nice piece of reporting:
...Chesapeake, which was founded in 1989 out of a small brick building, has expanded its Oklahoma City headquarters into a 50-acre campus that includes four gourmet restaurants, a 72,000-sqare-foot gym and a vegetable garden for employees the size of a city block. When Chesapeake added the Fort Worth tower to its real-estate empire, the price of natural gas had climbed to $10 per million British thermal units, lifting Chesapeake's stock price to new heights, and the company had just recorded its highest per-share profit....