HOUSTON — Marlin Midstream Partners LP's shares slipped its initial hours of trading as a public company Friday.

The natural gas company priced its initial public offering of nearly 6.9 million shares at $20 per share. Marlin had filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a slightly smaller offering of nearly 6.3 million shares, which it expected to price between $19 and $21 per share.

By early afternoon Friday, its stock was trading at $19.65 while the broader markets were down.

The company has given its underwriters the option of buying an additional 1 million shares to cover any overallotments.

At the close of the offering, the company says that the public will own a 38.6 percent limited partner interest in Marlin, or a 44.4 percent stake if the underwriters buy all the extra shares to cover overallotment.

Marlin is a limited partnership based in Houston, which was created to own, operate and acquire midstream energy assets. It currently owns a number of natural gas processing facilities and transportation pipelines.

The company plans to use proceeds from the offering to repay debts, settle an interest rate swap liability and pay for offering expenses.

Stifel, Baird and Oppenheimer & Co. are managing the offering, with Janney Montgomery Scott, Wunderlich Securities and Societe Generale. Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., Drexel Hamilton, Natixis and RB International Markets are serving as co-managers.

The company's shares are listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "FISH".