LNG developer Tellurian hires financial advisor -Chairman Martin Houston


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HOUSTON, Dec 28 (Reuters)Struggling liquefied natural gas (LNG) developer TellurianTELL.Aon Thursday said it has hired a financial advisor to assist in balance sheet management.

Chairman Martin Houston in a letter to shareholders said the advisor will “assist with shaping commercial structures as well as balance sheet management.”

Earlier in the day the company said it swapped $37.9 million in notes from a 2025 bond for shares and an agreement that eliminated a Jan. 1 debt payment.

“I hope that these early steps will go some way to helping bolster confidence in the leadership of your company”, Houston wrote. The advisor “will provide valuable assistance and guidance in the coming weeks”, he added.

On Wednesday, a filing showed that another investor, Chatterjee Fund Management, had increased its stake in Tellurian to 7.3%, from 5.2% previously.

Tellurian ousted its chairman and co-founder Charif Souki, earlier this month weeks after auditors raised doubts about the company’s ability to cover future expenses.

Souki helped create the U.S. LNG export market in 1996 after seizing on discoveries of vast amounts of shale gas. He turned Cheniere Energy from an LNG importer into a major exporter, but has been unable to repeat the same success at Tellurian.

(Reporting by Curtis Williams in Houston; Editing by Gary McWilliams and David Gregorio)

((Curtis.Williams@thomsonreuters.com; +1 346 324 7560;))

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