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

(Sports bettors check the odds at William Hill sports book at Tuscany Casino in Las Vegas.)

Sports fans across the country are showing more willingness to take a financial interest in the outcome of games, and in 18 states that allow sports betting, they may not even have to leave their couch to do it.

In two years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the gaming industry has seen a widespread trend of casino operators partnering with tech companies that offer online and mobile betting platforms.

Penn National Gaming (PENN) acquired a 36 percent share in Barstool Sports, a leading digital sports media company, joining Boyd Gaming (BYD), MGM Resorts (MGM), Caesars Entertainment (CZR) and others going after the estimated $40 billion sports betting business.

Penn paid about $163 million in cash and convertible preferred stock to become Barstool’s exclusive gaming partner for up to 40 years. The company also gained the right to use Barstool’s brand for all of Penn’s online and retail sports betting and internet casino games.

“The partnerships you see developing between operators, teams, leagues and the media are a natural evolution of how sports betting is rolling out throughout the United States,” said Brendan Bussmann, partner and director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors.

Going forward, wagering will become part of sports culture, he added. Even before the repeal of PASPA, sports fans and commentators talked about point spreads and money lines in their normal conversations.

Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National, said the partnership with Barstool Sports reflects the company’s strategy to evolve from a regional gaming operator with 41 properties in 19 states to a “best-in-class omnichannel provider of retail and online gaming and sports betting entertainment.”

“With 66