Asphalt outfit rising anew
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
6/17/09 at 5:37 PM
This story originally incorrectly spelled the name of Brian Majeska, an executive at Road Sciences LLC.
The story has been corrected.
Complete coverage: Read all the stories and documents related to the SemGroup collapse.
A new outfit rising from the ashes of SemMaterials is now occupying the company's old office space in southeast Tulsa, but it's still waiting for court approval to take over contracts, leases and other commitments from bankrupt SemGroup's former asphalt unit.
Road Science LLC also features the talents of former SemMaterials President Frank Panzer and fellow executive Brian Majeska. The new company was formed when Rhone Midstream Holdings bought the branded asphalt technologies from SemGroup for about $6.5 million.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan L. Shannon could rule on the request to transfer contracts and leases to Road Science by a June 25 hearing date in Wilmington, Del. The motion's objection deadline is June 18.
"Road Science has the financial wherewithal and ability to assume the assigned contracts and make all payments required thereunder," says a SemGroup bankruptcy motion filed this week.
The fledgling company's Web site indicates that Road Science employs close to 100 people, including chemists, engineers and marketers. Rhone bought the rights to use and develop SemMaterials technologies such as NovaChip asphalt, the Strata crack-relief system and other asphalt techniques.
"The debtors no longer operate the branded products business they sold to Road Science and as a result are not in a position to keep the branded sales commitments," the SemGroup motion states. "Assuming and assigning them to Road Science for good and valuable consideration is the best use of the debtors assets to add value to the estate."
SemGroup LP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last July, citing $2.4 billion in oil futures trading losses and at least another $3.5 billion owed to lenders, venders and oil and gas producers, according to reports.
The Tulsa-based company announced it was selling off or winding down its SemMaterials asphalt store, transportation and research unit, alleging that the division was losing about $15 million per month.
SemGroup transferred some of its SemMaterials storage assets to publicly traded SemGroup Energy Partners LP in a settlement with the former subsidiary. Another part of SemMaterials residual fuels assets also were sold to Ruston, La.-based Davison Petroleum Supply.
Panzer guided SemMaterials from 2005 until he was replaced last summer. He later joined the efforts of Rhone Midstream and Ritchie Capital Management, a part-owner of SemGroup LP, to make a bid for the SemMaterials assets, according to reports.
Majeska was sales and product development vice president at SemMaterials before the bankruptcy.
Neither Panzer nor Majeska returned phone messages left by the Tulsa World.
SemGroup is planning to survive without SemMaterials. The company hopes to re-emerge as a publicly traded midstream oil and gas firm by the third quarter.
A creditor vote on the reorganization plan could finish up by the June 25 court date. Lenders and unsecured creditors tentatively support the plan, but oil and gas producers have not committed yet, according to reports.
Rod Walton 581-8457