Case Study

Ute Indian Tribe

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Transaction Timeline

March 2009 – ECS was engaged by the Ute Indian Tribe (the “Ute Tribe”) as its exclusive financial advisor to review and advise on strategic alternatives for its portfolio of energy assets, including its interest in Ute Energy, LLC (“Ute Energy”).

December 2009 – ECS negotiated a purchase agreement with D.E. Shaw to acquire its interests in Ute Energy for $4,000,000.

February 2010 – ECS negotiated a letter of intent between Quantum Energy Partners (“QEP”), Quantum Resources (“QR”), and the Ute Tribe to recapitalize Ute Energy.

June 2010 – ECS assisted the Ute Tribe in closing a $65,000,000 credit facility with RBC Capital Markets Corp. (“RBC Capital”), funding the D.E. Shaw acquisition, closing the acquisition of 6,100,000 new Common Units of Ute Energy, and completing the restructuring.

Transaction Structure Summary

  • The Ute Tribe fully drew down a $65,000,000 senior secured loan facility from RBC Capital at a rate of Prime + 1%.
  • The Ute Tribe purchased all 400,000 outstanding Common Units of Ute Energy held by D.E. Shaw Synoptic Portfolio 6, LLC at $10.00 per unit.
  • The Ute Tribe acquired 6,100,000 additional Common Units from Ute Energy at $10.00 per unit.
  • The remaining equity owners of Ute Energy, the Ute Tribe, QEP, and QR, agreed to recapitalize the company, exchanging the majority of their respective Redeemable Units for Common Units, paying down existing indebtedness, adjusting certain control provisions, and hiring a new CEO, Joseph Jaggers.

Transaction Highlight

Recapitalization – Ute Energy was recapitalized to substantially reduce its debt obligations, providing the company with additional capital for new drilling and participation with its development partners.

Tribal-Owned Company – as a 51% tribal-owned entity, Ute Energy can borrow capital at low interest rates under government-sponsored loan programs, substantially lowering Ute Energy’s cost of capital.

Alignment of Interests – the Ute Tribe is pari passu with its partners QEP and QR, and now owns 51% of Ute Energy.

New Leadership – the Ute Tribe required that Ute Energy bring in a world-class executive to manage the energy company. Joseph Jaggers’ impressive industry experience and reputation from Bill Barrett Corp. signal to the industry that the Ute Tribe and its energy company are ready to maximize the value of the Ute Tribe’s energy portfolio.

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