BJ Services Company: IIIQ 2021 Update

Last time we wrote about oil field services company BJ Services Company, the business had just filed for Chapter 11, and without a pre-packaged plan. Subsequently – as we’ve gleaned from the public record – at least some of BJ’s assets were sold to other entities such as American Cementing. More recently, BJ’s former headquarter’s building was sold for $40mn.

Where does this leave the 4 BDCs previously with $25.2mn invested in the company’s unitranche debt when bankruptcy occurred ? As of September 30, 2021, total exposure at cost was down to $10.6mn and only Crescent Capital (CCAP) and Portman Ridge (PTMN) – who acquired the loan from now defunct Garrison Capital – are still involved. PTMN is carrying its modest $1.4mn position at par. The BDC has a “first out” status in the unitranche loan and that might explain the valuation and why the debt is carried as performing.

Over at CCAP – which has most of the exposure – one tranche of debt with a cost of $8.0mn is valued at $5.5mn, down (35%), just slightly off the prior quarter and the lowest value given since the bankruptcy occurred. The debt remains on non-accrual, and is a “last out” structure. (Confusingly, there’s also a $1.2mn senior loan from CCAP that is carried as current and valued at cost.)

We’re surmising – because neither PTMN or CCAP are explaining anything – that the BDCs are waiting for the asset sales to be complete to tot up their losses – if any – on BJ Services and close out these loans. With the sale of the HQ, we’d guess this process is almost complete and the BJ Services book will shortly be closed.

The only loss that will ensue – if we’re right – is a realized one by CCAP for ($2.5mn) or so, offset by receiving some proceeds to be re-invested. If that’s the case, CCAP will probably be mildly pleased as the BDC had nearly $13mn invested when BJ Services – seemingly out of the blue – filed for Chapter 11 back in 2020.

All this should be confirmed shortly, possibly when the IVQ 2021 results BDC results are published. For the moment, we’re retaining BJ Services as a CCR 5 – i.e. non performing – credit and Trending, because we expect something material to occur.