Samson laying off 100 workers, 70 in Tulsa
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
12/11/12 at 12:03 PM
Samson Resources Co. is laying off at least 100 employees this month, including 70 in Tulsa, one year after New York equity investors KKR & Co. bought it for $7 billion in a leveraged buyout, the Tulsa World learned Tuesday.
The company also reported that Samson CEO David Adams, who took the reins after the KKR buyout, will retire at the end of the year. An executive leadership team, which will include Chief Financial Officer Phil Cook, will guide Samson until a successor is found.
No details were available on the severance packages offered to the departing employees or what exact date they are leaving Samson. The company previously employed about 700 people locally and 1,200 nationwide.
KKR & Co., which is led by former Tulsan Henry Kravis and his cousin, George Roberts, began pursuing Samson last year and closed on its acquisition in December. The Tulsa firm, long known as Samson Investment Co., was founded by Charles Schusterman and run by his family up until the sale.
Samson was largely natural gas-focused in its drilling operations until this year, as natural gas prices plummeted to 10-year lows. CEO Adams, in a talk earlier this year, stressed that Samson was shifting its production mix into more oil and natural gas liquids, but the process takes time.
The oil portion of Samson’s production mix rose to 25 percent this year from 20 percent in 2011. The natural gas portion was as high as 95 percent seven years ago, according to reports.
Moody’s earlier this year downgraded Samson’s credit standing for B1 for corporate family rating and B3 for its senior unsecured notes. Both B1 and B3 are considered speculative grade ratings and represent higher investment risks, according to reports.
Samson Resources' CEO David Adams speaks back in March. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World File