a man wearing a hat: REUTERS/Andy Buchanan


© REUTERS/Andy Buchanan
REUTERS/Andy Buchanan

  • Shares in Premier Oil rose 24% after it announced a reverse merger with Chrysaor to form the largest independent oil and gas company in the UK’s North Sea.
  • Premiere, whose shares have tumbled 80% this year, will hold up to 23% of the combined company of which its shareholders will own about 6%. Chrysaor would own at least 77%. 
  • American-born executive Linda Cook will be the CEO of the combined group, taking the number of women that hold the highest leadership positions at UK-listed oil and gas companies to two.
  • While Premier shares jumped 24% at the open, the company traded up 10% in mid-morning UK trading.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

UK’s Premier Oil jumped as much as 24% on Tuesday after announcing a reverse merger with Chrysaor Holdings, together forming the largest London-listed independent oil-and-gas company. 

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The deal would end a rough patch for Premier whose shares have plunged 80% this year from the combined effects of historically low oil prices and the direct impact of the coronavirus on its bottom line. Both North Sea producers began talks in mid-September. 

Premiere has been struggling ever since the price of oil slid in 2014, when global inventories of unused fuel swelled,  but after the pandemic, the company has been forced to secure financing and delay any forms of repayment.   

Under the terms of the deal, Premier would own up to 23% of the combined group — of which its shareholders will own about 6% — while Chrysaor would own at least 77%, the companies said in a statement. 

“There is significant industrial, commercial and financial logic to creating an independent oil and gas company of this size with a leading position in the UK North Sea,” Premier CEO Tony Durrant