(Bloomberg) — Seismic mapper Ion Geophysical Corp. is preparing a potential bankruptcy filing to sell itself, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
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The Houston-based company, which makes software and provides data to the energy industry, may seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the next month, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.
Ion is drawing interest from potential buyers and is working to line up a so-called stalking horse bidder, which would set the floor for further offers in bankruptcy, according to the people.
The discussions around a filing aren’t final and could change, the people added. A Chapter 11 filing allows a company to continue operating while it works out a plan to repay its creditors.
Representatives for Ion didn’t respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment.
The possible bankruptcy would cap a tumultuous period for the company, which restructured its debt in April 2021 by swapping bonds for new notes, cash and stock. After skipping a Dec. 15 interest payment on the new bonds, it entered forbearance with debt holders and said it was weighing strategic alternatives as part of a bankruptcy or out-of-court restructuring.
As of Sept. 30, the company had more than $130 million of debt, including roughly $20 million outstanding under a revolving credit facility, according to regulatory filings.
Ion uses technology to create maps of the Earth beneath its surface. Energy companies use the maps to inform their exploration and production decisions. Ion has about 400 employees, according to its website.
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