Petrobank cleaning the slate

Petrobank (TSX: PBG) announced today that they were selling their primary property asset, the May River project for $225 million. After paying off their $60 million bank debt, this will leave their corporate with approximately $165 million to figure out what to do in the meantime. Their other primary asset includes their 59% ownership stake in Petrobakken (TSX: PBN) which readers of this site will also know has its own issues, although it has solved its imminent financial problems by floating a $900M, 8.625% coupon bond issue with an 8 year maturity date.

Readers might suspect that I’d rather want to put my money in that bond than the equity.

This is about a clean a slate that Petrobank will have before it decides how to invest the proceeds in other projects. The May River project was not as successful as management anticipated and they likely hit the best bid they could solicit. The low-rate interest environment does create a lot of froth, and they were probably wise to take the money while they could.