Adds shares in paragraph 3, background and Carlyle/PEP response

Oct 12 (Reuters)Link Administration Holdings Ltd LNK.AX said on Monday it received a conditional A$2.76 billion ($2 billion) takeover offer from private equity firms Carlyle Group CG.O and Pacific Equity Partners, sending its shares up nearly 30%.

The non-binding offer of A$5.20 a share is at a 30.3% premium to the shareholder registry firm’s last closing price and has the support of Perpetual Ltd PPT.AX, which owns 9.7% of the company.

Link shares jumped as much as 27.8% to A$5.1, slightly under the private equity duo’s offer, their highest since the end of February.

Pacific Equity Partners previously owned Link before it floated on the Australian stock exchange at A$6.37 a share in 2015.

Link, which also provides services to fund managers and trading firms, has lost nearly a third of its value since the start of the year and swung to a full-year loss in August, as the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked havoc across markets.

The company said it would consider the offer but asked shareholders not to take any action yet.

An external communications firm representing Carlyle and Pacific Equity Partners declined to comment.

Macquarie Capital and UBS have been appointed by Link as its financial advisers.

($1 = 1.3833 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Stephen Coates)

((; Twitter: @NikhilKurianN; +91 806 182 2724;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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A National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Riyadh. 

Photographer: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

Follow us @middleeast for more news on the region.

National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest lender by assets, agreed to buy rival Samba Financial Group for $15 billion in one of the biggest banking takeovers this year.

NCB agreed to pay 28.45 riyals ($7.58) for each Samba share on Sunday, valuing it at about 55.7 billion riyals. NCB will offer 0.739 new shares for each Samba share, at the lower end of the 0.736-0.787 per share ratio agreed when the banks signed an initial framework agreement in June.

The offer price is a 3.5% premium to Samba’s Oct. 8 closing price of 27.50 riyals and about 24% higher than the price the shares traded at before the talks were made public in June. The combined bank will have total assets of more than $220 billion and a market capitalization of $46 billion.

Bloomberg News first reported the merger talks in June.

More details:

  • NCB’s existing shareholders will own 67.4% and Samba’s shareholders will own 32.6% of the combined entity
  • Expects to unlock about 800 million riyals annually fully phased in cost synergies after integration
  • Ammar AlKhudairy, current chairman of Samba, to become chairman of merged bank; Saeed Al Ghamdi, the current chairman of NCB, to become managing director and group CEO
  • NCB advised by JPMorgan Saudi Arabia; Samba advised by Morgan Stanley Saudi Arabia

(Adds detail on exchange ratio in second paragraph and more details about the deal in bullets)

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By Ron Bousso, Shadia Nasralla and Clara Denina

LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters)Premier Oil’s takeover by private equity-backed Chrysaor marks the end of an 86-year oil wildcatter and could herald wider consolidation provided there are willing buyers in a sector whose outlook is highly uncertain.

Leading oil and gas companies, including BP BP.L and Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L, want to sell large parts of their portfolios to prepare for a shift towards renewable energy.

The impact of COVID-19 has also hit the hydrocarbon industry particularly hard because of its impact on demand and oil and gas prices.

Faced with ballooning debt, smaller exploration and production (E&P) companies, such as Africa-focused Tullow Oil and North Sea producer Ithaca Energy, also want to sell assets or partner with an investor.

But the pool of buyers is small.

A handful of private equity firms, such as Chrysaor, backed by Harbour Energy, and HitecVision, as well as a small number of listed companies, such as Serica Energy SQZ.L, are the most likely purchasers, analysts and multiple industry sources said.

Private equity firms see opportunities to make money by cutting costs, betting on higher oil prices in the coming years as investments shrink leading to lower output.

They put money into oil and gas fields to extend their lives, when larger companies might be reluctant to spend more on assets no longer big enough to make a difference in a major portfolio.

“The sector in general is ripe for consolidation,” Harbour CEO Linda Cook told a conference call. She is expected to become CEO of the merged Chrysaor-Premier entity.

The reverse takeover announced on Tuesday needs shareholder backing and regulatory approval.


Premier’s takeover follows months of wrangling with its creditors, who tried to ease a $2.7 billion debt burden by

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

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