SemGroup Creditors Met With Catsimatidis

Friday, January 9th 2009, 9:39 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

UNDATED -- A Friday meeting in mid-town Manhattan will have a major impact in the fight for SemGroup.  For the first time since taking over the company's board of directors last month, billionaire John Catsimatidis sat down with creditors to hash out a restructuring plan.

John Catsimatidis is the only bidder to publicly declare he wants all of SemGroup, not just bits and pieces of it.  He says he wants to re-organize it, refocus it, and keep it in Tulsa. 

SemGroup has 2,000 employees nationwide, about 300 in Tulsa.

In December, Catsimatidis gained majority control of SemGroup's board of directors.  But nothing happened for weeks and SemGroup executives say the delay hampered efforts to keep the bidding process moving.

"I think we've got a very valuable group of assets, those assets definitely have a future in Tulsa," said SemGroup CEO Terry Ronan.

But, those assets came up at a meeting in Manhattan.  Catsimatidis introduced his plan to the creditor's committee, businesses that SemGroup still owes money to.    

SemGroup's current CEO Terry Ronan says he likes the outlines, but he needs a firm proposal.

"We are going to look at all bidders and make a determination about what is best, what is the greatest and highest value for all the stakeholders here," said SemGroup CEO Terry Ronan.

That greatest and highest value might be to break off pieces of SemGroup, like SemMaterials or SemCrude.  Ronan says that could be best for the company and its employees.

"What I have asked them to do is keep an even keel, keep an open mind, keep working hard as they have been doing all along, and hopefully we'll have a good outcome," said SemGroup CEO Terry Ronan.

Catsimatidis is moving forward with $450 million in capital ready to go. And, he says the details of his re-restructuring plan will completed by the end of month.

Since SemGroup is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court has the final say in what happens with the company's future.

Related Story:

01/07/2009  SemGroup's Restructuring Hits Snag