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    Premier Plays Down Chrysaor Merger Talks


Premier's preferred choice is a refinancing deal preliminarily reached with creditors in late August.

by: Joe Murphy

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Premier Plays Down Chrysaor Merger Talks

The UK's Premier Oil has played down a report of a proposed merger with another North Sea-focused player Chrysaor, saying in a statement on September 15 that a refinancing agreement preliminarily reached with creditors in late August was the better option.

Premier agreed heads of terms with creditors on August 20 to refinance more than 45% of its debt. The deal is subject to conditions, however, including creditor and shareholder approvals, and a minimum $325mn equity raise, which will be used to fund the purchase of BP assets for $210mn. Premier's net debt came to just under $2bn at the end of June.

Bloomberg reported on September 15 that Premier and Chrysaor were discussing a merger of all or part of their operations, although the former's preference was a refinancing agreement instead.

Premier confirmed as much in a statement, saying talks were underway with "a number of third parties, including Chrysaor, regarding alternative forms of transactions to secure the long-term financing of the group's debt facilities."

"To date, terms of the transactions discussed do not, in Premier's opinion, provide better outcomes for either its shareholders or creditors than those proposed under the heads of terms announced on August 20 2020," it said.

The company added though that discussions on alternative transactions would "continue to be explored, in the best interests of all of Premier's stakeholders, but there can be no certainty that these discussions will reach agreement."