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LNCO > SEC Filings for LNCO > Form 10-Q on 28-Oct-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for LINNCO, LLC


28-Oct-2013

Quarterly Report


Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's future plans, estimates, beliefs and expected performance. The forward-looking statements are dependent upon events, risks and uncertainties that may be outside the Company's control. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those factors set forth in "Cautionary Statement" below and in Item 1A. "Risk Factors" in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and elsewhere in the Annual Report. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed may not occur.
The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and related notes included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. A reference to a "Note" herein refers to the accompanying Notes to Financial Statements contained in Item 1. "Financial Statements." General
LinnCo, LLC ("LinnCo" or the "Company") is a Delaware limited liability company formed on April 30, 2012, under the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act, that has elected to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. Linn Energy, LLC ("LINN Energy"), an independent oil and natural gas company traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "LINE," owns LinnCo's sole voting share.
LinnCo's success is dependent upon the operation and management of LINN Energy and its resulting performance. Therefore, LINN Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, has been included in this filing as Exhibit 99.1 and incorporated herein by reference. Business
At no time after LinnCo's formation and prior to the initial public offering ("IPO") did LinnCo have any operations or own any interest in LINN Energy. After the IPO and as of September 30, 2013, LinnCo's sole purpose was to own units representing limited liability company interests ("units") in LINN Energy and it had no significant assets or operations other than those related to its interest in LINN Energy. In connection with the pending acquisition of Berry Petroleum Company ("Berry") (see Note 2), LinnCo intends to amend its limited liability company agreement to permit the acquisition and subsequent contribution of assets to LINN Energy.
Acquisition of Berry - Pending
On February 20, 2013, LinnCo and Berry entered into a definitive merger agreement under which LinnCo would acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Berry. Under the terms of the agreement, Berry's shareholders will receive
1.25 LinnCo common shares for each Berry common share they own. This transaction, which is expected to be a tax-free exchange to Berry's shareholders, represents value of $46.2375 per common share, based on the closing price of LinnCo common shares on February 20, 2013, the last trading day before the public announcement. At February 21, 2013, the date of the public announcement, the transaction had a preliminary value of approximately $4.4 billion, including the assumption of approximately $1.7 billion of Berry's debt. The transaction is subject to approvals by Berry and LinnCo shareholders, LINN Energy unitholders and regulatory agencies. Due to the pending SEC inquiry (see Note 9), the timing of the proposed transaction closing is uncertain. In connection with the proposed transaction described above, LinnCo will contribute Berry to LINN Energy in exchange for newly issued LINN Energy units, after which Berry will be an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of LINN Energy. Results of Operations
Equity Income from Investment in Linn Energy, LLC The Company's results of operations primarily consist of its share of earnings of LINN Energy attributed to the units the Company owns. At September 30, 2013, the Company owned approximately 15% of LINN Energy's outstanding units. The percentage ownership of LINN Energy could change over time due to the Company's ownership of additional units or other issuances or repurchases of units by LINN Energy. The Company uses the equity method of accounting for its investment in LINN Energy and records earnings (losses) as described below.


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Item 2.  Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results
of Operations - Continued

Following is summarized statements of operations information for LINN Energy.
Additional information on LINN Energy's results of operations and financial
position are contained in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter
ended September 30, 2013, which is included in this filing as Exhibit 99.1 and
incorporated herein by reference.
                                Linn Energy, LLC
                              Three Months Ended     Nine Months Ended
                              September 30, 2013     September 30, 2013
                                           (in thousands)

Revenues and other           $         494,562      $        1,702,447
Expenses                              (421,630 )            (1,287,618 )
Other income and (expenses)           (107,398 )              (319,616 )
Income tax (expense) benefit             4,406                  (2,001 )
Net income (loss)            $         (30,060 )    $           93,212

General and Administrative Expenses
The Company's general and administrative expenses are associated with managing the business and affairs of LinnCo. For the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2013, LinnCo incurred total general and administrative expenses of approximately $1 million and $15 million, respectively, of which approximately $9 million had been paid by LINN Energy on LinnCo's behalf as of September 30, 2013. The expenses for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2013, include approximately $125,000 and $13 million, respectively, of transaction costs related to professional services rendered by third parties in connection with the pending acquisition of Berry (see Note 2). The expenses for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2013, also include approximately $403,000 and $1 million, respectively, related to services provided by LINN Energy necessary for the conduct of LinnCo's business, such as accounting, legal, tax, information technology and other expenses. For the three months ended September 30, 2012, and for the period from April 30, 2012 (inception) to September 30, 2012, LinnCo incurred total general and administrative expenses of approximately $351,000 and $506,000, respectively. Because all general and administrative expenses are actually paid by LINN Energy on LinnCo's behalf, no cash is disbursed by LinnCo. Income Tax (Expense) Benefit
Income tax benefit of approximately $4 million and income tax expense of approximately $7 million, respectively, for the three months and nine months ended September 30, 2013, is based on the Company's net income (loss) for the periods, primarily associated with equity income (loss) from its investment in LINN Energy.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
The Company's authorized capital structure consists of two classes of interests:
(1) shares with limited voting rights, which were issued in the IPO and (2) voting shares, 100% of which are held by LINN Energy. At September 30, 2013, LinnCo's issued capitalization consisted of $1.2 billion in common shares representing limited liability company interests ("shares") and $1,000 contributed by LINN Energy in connection with LinnCo's formation and in exchange for its voting share. Additional classes of equity interests may be created upon approval by the Board and the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares and voting shares, voting as separate classes. LINN Energy has agreed to provide to LinnCo, or to pay on LinnCo's behalf, any legal, accounting, tax advisory, financial advisory and engineering fees, printing costs or other administrative and out-of-pocket expenses incurred by LinnCo, along with any other expenses incurred in connection with any public offering of LinnCo shares or incurred as a result of being a publicly traded entity. These expenses include costs associated with annual, quarterly and other reports to holders of LinnCo shares, tax return and Form 1099 preparation and distribution, NASDAQ listing fees, printing costs, independent auditor fees and expenses, legal counsel fees and expenses, limited liability company governance and compliance expenses and registrar and transfer agent fees.


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Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Continued

The Company expects neither to generate nor to require significant cash in its ongoing business. Any cash received from the sale of additional shares will be immediately used to purchase additional LINN Energy units. Accordingly, the Company does not anticipate any other sources or needs for additional liquidity. Distributions and Dividends
Within five (5) business days after receiving a cash distribution related to its interest in LINN Energy units, LinnCo is required to pay the cash received, net of reserves for its income tax liability ("tax reserve"), if any, as dividends to its shareholders. The following provides a summary of dividends paid by the Company during the nine months ended September 30, 2013:

  Date Paid       Dividends Per Share         Total Dividends
                                               (in millions)

September 2013   $              0.2416       $              8
August 2013      $              0.2416       $              8
July 2013        $              0.2416       $              8
May 2013         $               0.725       $             25
February 2013    $                0.71  (1)  $             25

(1) This amount is net of the tax reserve of $0.015 per common share.

In April 2013, LINN Energy's and LinnCo's Boards approved a change in the distribution and dividend policies that provides a distribution and dividend with respect to any quarter may be made, at the discretion of the Boards,
(i) within 45 days following the end of each quarter or (ii) in three equal installments within 15, 45 and 75 days following the end of each quarter. The first monthly distributions and dividends were paid in July 2013. On October 1, 2013, LINN Energy's Board declared a cash distribution of $0.725 per unit with respect to the third quarter of 2013, to be paid in three equal monthly installments of $0.2416 per unit. The first monthly distribution with respect to the third quarter of 2013 attributable to LinnCo's interest in LINN Energy, totaling approximately $8 million, was paid to LinnCo on October 17, 2013. On October 1, 2013, the Company's Board declared a cash dividend of $0.725 per common share with respect to the third quarter of 2013, to be paid in three equal monthly installments of $0.2416 per common share pending the receipt of the applicable cash distribution from LINN Energy. Company management has determined that no income tax reserve is required to be deducted from the cash dividend declared on October 1, 2013. The first monthly dividend with respect to the third quarter of 2013, totaling approximately $8 million, was paid on October 18, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on October 11, 2013. Contingencies
On March 21, 2013, a purported stockholder class action captioned Nancy P. Assad Trust v. Berry Petroleum Co., et al. was filed in the District Court for the City and County of Denver, Colorado, No. 13-CV-31365. The action names as defendants Berry, the members of its board of directors, Bacchus HoldCo, Inc., a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Berry ("HoldCo"), Bacchus Merger Sub, Inc., a direct wholly owned subsidiary of HoldCo ("Bacchus Merger Sub"), LinnCo, LINN Energy and Linn Acquisition Company, LLC, a direct wholly owned subsidiary of LinnCo ("LinnCo Merger Sub"). On April 5, 2013, an amended complaint was filed, which alleges that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the transactions by engaging in an unfair sales process that resulted in an unfair price for Berry, by failing to disclose all material information regarding the transactions, and that the entity defendants aided and abetted those breaches of fiduciary duty. The amended complaint seeks a declaration that the transactions are unlawful and unenforceable, an order directing the individual defendants to comply with their fiduciary duties, an injunction against consummation of the transactions, or, in the event they are completed, rescission of the transactions, an award of fees and costs, including attorneys' and experts' fees and expenses, and other relief. On May 21, 2013, the Colorado District Court stayed and administratively closed the Nancy P. Assad Trust action in favor of the Hall action described below that is pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery.


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Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Continued

On April 12, 2013, a purported stockholder class action captioned David Hall v. Berry Petroleum Co., et al. was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, C.A. No. 8476-VCG. The complaint names as defendants Berry, the members of its board of directors, HoldCo, Bacchus Merger Sub, LinnCo, LINN Energy and LinnCo Merger Sub. The complaint alleges that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the transactions by engaging in an unfair sales process that resulted in an unfair price for Berry, by failing to disclose all material information regarding the transactions, and that the entity defendants aided and abetted those breaches of fiduciary duty. The complaint seeks a declaration that the transactions are unlawful and unenforceable, an order directing the individual defendants to comply with their fiduciary duties, an injunction against consummation of the transactions, or, in the event they are completed, rescission of the transactions, an award of fees and costs, including attorneys' and experts' fees and expenses, and other relief. The Company is unable to estimate a possible loss, or range of possible loss, if any, at this time.
On July 9, 2013, Anthony Booth, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, against LINN Energy, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, and David B. Rottino (the "Booth Action"). On July 18, 2013, the Catherine A. Fisher Trust, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, against the same defendants (the "Fisher Action"). On July 17, 2013, Don Gentry, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, against LINN Energy, LinnCo, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, David B. Rottino, George A. Alcorn, David D. Dunlap, Terrence S. Jacobs, Michael C. Linn, Joseph P. McCoy, Jeffrey C. Swoveland, and the various underwriters for LinnCo's initial public offering (the "Gentry Action") (the Booth Action, Fisher Action, and Gentry Action together, the "Texas Federal Actions"). The Texas Federal Actions each assert claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") based on allegations that LINN Energy made false or misleading statements relating to its hedging strategy, the cash flow available for distribution to unitholders, and LINN Energy's energy production. The Gentry Action asserts additional claims under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 based on alleged misstatements relating to these issues in the prospectus and registration statement for LinnCo's initial public offering. On September 23, 2013, the Southern District of Texas entered an order transferring the Texas Federal Actions to the Southern District of New York so that they could be consolidated with the New York Federal Actions, which are described below. On July 10, 2013, David Adrian Luciano, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, against LINN Energy, LinnCo, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, David B. Rottino, George A. Alcorn, David D. Dunlap, Terrence S. Jacobs, Michael C. Linn, Joseph P. McCoy, Jeffrey C. Swoveland, and the various underwriters for LinnCo's initial public offering (the "Luciano Action"). The Luciano Action asserts claims under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 based on alleged misstatements relating to LINN Energy's hedging strategy, the cash flow available for distribution to unitholders, and LINN Energy's energy production in the prospectus and registration statement for LinnCo's initial public offering. On July 12, 2013, Frank Donio, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, against LINN Energy, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, and David B. Rottino (the "Donio Action"). The Donio Action asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act based on allegations that LINN Energy made false or misleading statements relating to its hedging strategy, the cash flow available for distribution to unitholders, and LINN Energy's energy production. Several additional class action cases substantially similar to the Luciano Action and the Donio Action were subsequently filed in the Southern District of New York and assigned to the same judge (the Luciano Action, Donio Action, and all similar subsequently filed New York federal class actions together, the "New York Federal Actions"). The Texas Federal Actions and the New York Federal Actions have now been consolidated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The cases are in their preliminary stages and it is possible that additional similar actions could be filed. As a result, the Company is unable to estimate a possible loss, or range of possible loss, if any.
On July 10, 2013, Judy Mesirov, derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant LINN Energy, filed a shareholder derivative petition against Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, David B. Rottino, Arden L. Walker, Jr., Charlene A. Ripley, Michael C. Linn, Joseph P. McCoy, George A. Alcorn, Terrence S. Jacobs, David D. Dunlap, Jeffrey C. Swoveland, and Linda M. Stephens in the District Court of Harris County, Texas (the "Mesirov Action"). On July 12, 2013, John Peters, derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant LINN Energy, filed a shareholder derivative petition against many of the same defendants in the District Court of Harris County, Texas (the "Peters Action"). On August 26, 2013, Joseph Abdalla, derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant LINN Energy, filed a shareholder derivative petition against many of the same defendants in the District Court of Harris County, Texas (the "Abdalla Action") (the Mesirov Action, Peters Action, and Abdalla Actions together, the "Texas State Court Derivative Actions"). On August 19, 2013, the Charlote J. Lombardo Trust of 2004, derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant LINN Energy, filed a shareholder derivative petition against many of the same defendants in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (the "Lombardo Action"). On September 30, 2013, the Thelma Feldman Rev.


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Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Continued

Trust, derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant LINN Energy, filed a shareholder derivative petition against many of the same defendants (the "Feldman Rev. Trust Action"). On October 21, 2013, the Parker Family Trust of 2012, derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant LINN Energy, filed a shareholder derivative petition against many of the same defendants (the "Parker Family Trust Action") (the Lombardo Action, Feldman Rev. Trust Action, and Parker Family Trust Action together, the "Texas Federal Court Derivative Actions") (the Texas State Court Derivative Action and Texas Federal Court Derivative Actions together, the "Texas Derivative Actions"). The Texas Derivative Actions assert derivative claims on behalf of LINN Energy against the individual defendants for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, mismanagement, abuse of control, and unjust enrichment based on factual allegations similar to those in the Texas Federal Actions and the New York Federal Actions. The cases are in their preliminary stages and it is possible that additional similar actions could be filed in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, or in other jurisdictions. As a result, the Company is unable to estimate a possible loss, or range of possible loss, if any. Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates The discussion and analysis of the Company's financial condition and results of operations is based upon the financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires management of the Company to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, expenses and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. These estimates and assumptions are based on management's best estimates and judgment. Management evaluates its estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis using historical experience and other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Such estimates and assumptions are adjusted when facts and circumstances dictate. Actual results may differ from these estimates and assumptions used in the preparation of the financial statements.
Accounting for Investment in Linn Energy, LLC The Company uses the equity method of accounting related to its ownership interest in LINN Energy's net income (losses). The Company records its share of LINN Energy's net income (losses) in the period in which it is earned. At September 30, 2013, the Company owned approximately 15% of LINN Energy's outstanding units. The Company's ownership percentage could change as LINN Energy issues or repurchases additional units. Changes in the Company's ownership percentage affect its net income (losses).
The initial carrying amount of the Company's investment in LINN Energy exceeded the Company's ownership interest in LINN Energy's underlying net assets by approximately $516 million. The difference was attributable to proved and unproved oil and natural gas properties, senior notes and equity method goodwill. These amounts are included in "investment in Linn Energy, LLC" on the balance sheet and are amortized over the lives of the related assets and liabilities. Such amortization is included in the equity income from the Company's investment in LINN Energy. Equity method goodwill is not amortized; however, the investment is reviewed for impairment. Impairment testing is performed when events or circumstances warrant such testing and considers whether there is an inability to recover the carrying value of an investment that is other than temporary. As of September 30, 2013, no impairment had occurred with respect to the Company's investment in LINN Energy. Cautionary Statement
This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q contains forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's control. Because substantially all of LinnCo's assets consist of its interests in LINN Energy's units, these risks and uncertainties primarily relate to LINN Energy's business which include the following:
business strategy;

acquisition strategy;

ability to consummate the pending merger with Berry;

effects of the pending SEC inquiry and other legal proceedings;

financial strategy;

ability to maintain or grow distributions;

drilling locations;

oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids ("NGL") reserves;

realized oil, natural gas and NGL prices;

production volumes;


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Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Continued

lease operating expenses, general and administrative expenses and development costs;

future operating results;

plans, objectives, expectations and intentions; and

taxes.

All of these types of statements, other than statements of historical fact included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may be found in Item 2. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "could," "should," "expect," "plan," "project," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "pursue," "target," "continue," the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology.
The forward-looking statements contained in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are largely based on LINN Energy and Company expectations, which reflect estimates and assumptions made by LINN Energy and Company management. These estimates and assumptions reflect management's best judgment based on currently known market conditions and other factors. Although the Company believes such estimates and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently uncertain and involve a number of risks and uncertainties beyond its control. In addition, management's assumptions may prove to be inaccurate. The Company cautions that the forward-looking statements contained in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are not guarantees of future performance, and it cannot assure any reader that such statements will be realized or the forward-looking statements or events will occur. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or implied in forward-looking statements due to factors set forth in Item 1A. "Risk Factors" in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and elsewhere in the Annual Report. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made and, other than as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


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