Weatherford International Plc (WFT) Up After Pulling Plug on New Offering
Shares of Baar, Switzerland, based Weatherford International Plc (WFT) resisted the general trend on Wall Street, and rose on Tuesday, against the backdrop of a day in which the overall market was sharply lower. Weatherford's stock was up 10.70%, rising 90 cents per share, to close at $9.31, on volume of 68,781,829 shares. The company decided that it would not pursue its previously announced concurrent public offerings of ordinary shares of the company and mandatorily exchangeable subordinated notes to a company subsidiary.
On Monday night, the company announced that it would not to pursue its previously announced concurrent public offerings of ordinary shares of the company and mandatorily exchangeable subordinated notes of Weatherford International Ltd., a Bermuda exempted company and wholly owned subsidiary of the company.
The decision reverses an announcement made only hours before in which Weatherford planned to raise $1 billion to purchase assets of Halliburton Co. In that earlier announcement, the company said that it would raise the needed capital through the combined sale of both stocks and convertible notes. The purchase, had it continued would have represented the acquisition of some or all of Halliburton's assets, as that company seeks to gain regulatory approval to merge with Baker Hughes, Inc.
Halliburton is the world's second largest oilfield service company, while Baker Hughes is third, and Weatherford is fourth. The announcement cancelling the stock offering did not specify how - or if - Weatherford would seek financing for Halliburton's assets. But speculation is surfacing that Weatherford will not be making any acquisitions that will require raising capital in order to complete.
"While investor interest was strong for this offering, we are unwilling to sell securities at prices that do not reflect the value we have created at Weatherford," a company press release disclosed. "The Company continues on its resolute course of focusing on its core businesses and the efficiency of its operations. The Company also continues to expect to deliver positive free cash flow in 2015 and years beyond, has ample liquidity, and remains focused on generating strong returns for our shareholders."
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