ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A bid to buy a struggling Alaska gas producer has received backing from a state agency that approved a $7.5 million loan for the purchase.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority board of directors voted to approve the loan to Hex LLC to buy Furie Operating Alaska LLC, Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday.
The approval earlier this month is expected to provide the means to complete a $15 million bid made in a December bankruptcy auction for Furie, a Texas-based natural gas producer that operates the Kitchen Lights Unit Project in Cook Inlet.
Hex was formed by John Hendrix, who worked as general manager of Apache Corp.’s operations in Cook Inlet prior to becoming former independent Alaska Gov. Bill Walker’s oil and gas policy adviser in 2016.
Hendrix and others involved in the case declined to discuss details of the ongoing proceedings, but Hendrix told authority leaders he hopes to increase in-state employment within Furie.
A memorandum outlining the $7.5 million loan said Hex’s purchase would initially provide 15 new resident jobs on the Kenai Peninsula and support another 300 indirect jobs.
A royalty claim filed by three minority owners in the state leases Furie operates allege they are owed an estimated $50.7 million, which prevented Hex from obtaining financing for the sale.
Attorneys for Furie and its primary lenders said in separate court filings that Hex did not negotiate in good faith, an allegation Hex’s attorney David Bundy disputed.
Hendrix told the development and export authority board April 15 that he recently signed an agreement to acquire Furie and his company is moving toward a June 30 closing date.