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Report: McClendon-founded Ascent Resources in talks for potential IPO

Ascent Resources is preparing for an initial public offering or a sale, aiming for a stock-market valuation of more than $3.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 18, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The privately held Utica Shale driller is in talks with bankers to shepherd an offering, the sources said, adding that should an offering occur, it would likely take place in 2018. Some of the sources noted that the company is likely to shop itself as a whole to competitors as it prepares for an IPO, the report said.

Ascent Resources more than doubled its Utica Shale gas production over the past year, edging ahead of companies such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Antero Resources Corp. to become the second-largest gas producer in Ohio, according to state data.

Ascent Resources was founded as two separate American Energy Partners LP companies by Chesapeake-founder Aubrey McClendon, who was killed March 2, 2016, in a car crash in Oklahoma City.