​US LNG exporter Tellurian pulls share sale on `adverse' market

Tellurian founders Martin Houston (left) and Charif Souki. Image: Tellurian Inc.

Tellurian Inc., a would-be liquefied natural gas exporter, said it’s withdrawing its proposed public offering of 10 million shares due to “adverse market conditions.”

Tellurian had announced the public offering on Wednesday with Credit Suisse Group AG acting as sole book-running manager, and Tuohy Brothers Investment Research as co-manager.

It had expected to grant the underwriters an option for 30 days to purchase as many as 1.5 million more shares.

Even with the support of President Donald Trump, LNG exporters are struggling to attract enough commitments from buyers to begin construction amid a global glut of supply. Tellurian, co-founded by ousted Cheniere Chief Executive Officer Charif Souki, is developing the Driftwood LNG export terminal in Louisiana.

“The equity market has been more shaky and some other recent energy offerings have priced below expectations,” said Matthew Phillips, an analyst at Guggenheim Partners. “You will likely see these come back to market once conditions firm up.”

Shares of Tellurian fell 5.6 percent to $10.11 at 2:55 p.m. in New York. The stock earlier slid as much as 6.4 percent, the steepest intraday drop since May 12.

“In the interest of achieving the best value for our stockholders, we have decided to withdraw our recently announced public offering of common stock,” Tellurian CEO Meg Gentle said Thursday in a statement.

Wednesday’s selloff in equity markets was behind the decision, according to Joi Lecznar, a company spokeswoman.

“The market fell off yesterday and we are in a great position to not have to issue equity in a down market,” Lecznar said by email.

Earlier this month, Gentle said Tellurian has started marketing LNG to potential customers and expects to produce the first fuel for export at Driftwood in 2022.

Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry have touted LNG exports in recent weeks as a way of promoting jobs. About two dozen applications to build export terminals are under review.

An oversupply will linger in the global LNG market through the mid-2020s before shifting to a deficit by 2025, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. said in a research note.

© 2017 Bloomberg L.P

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