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Premier Oil jumps on takeover news

Premier Oil Plc (PMO.L) has announced that it will join forces with Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. in a reverse takeover, creating the largest listed independent oil and gas company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Premier has been facing a troubling period after spending most of the year attempting to restructure its debt, leading to shares falling by more than 80% during this period.

Shares rose as much as 13% in early trading on Tuesday in London following news of the merger.

The deal will result in a mega-company that pumps more than 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, according to a statement by Premier on Tuesday.

The deal means that Premier’s earlier agreement to acquire some North Sea assets from BP Plc has been canceled, said CEO Tony Durrant told Bloomberg. BP retain ownership of the assets and consider options for their future.

Wagamama sales take a hit

Wagamama owner the Restaurant Group lost £62.6m ($81.2m) in the first half of this year, but said trading since the summer had been “very encouraging.”

The company (RTN.L), which also owns Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, and dozens of pubs, swung to a loss before tax as the coronavirus and lockdown hammered sales. It had made a £28.1m profit in the six months to the end of June last year.

In half-year results published on Tuesday, it posted unadjusted losses of £234.7m, largely reflecting the costs of permanently closing 147 sites. Thousands of jobs were put at risk when closures were first announced in June.

The company, like other hospitality firms, now faces the fresh blow of a 10pm shutdown across the country, as well as

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