North Sea operator Premier Oil is to combine with Chrysaor in a reverse takeover that will create the biggest independent exploration and production company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The merged business will have combined production of more than 250 kboepd and will see the reorganisation of Premier’s existing debt arrangements.
The deal is expected to see Premier’s shareholders owning 23% of the combined business and Chrysaor shareholders 77%.
Chrysaor’s largest shareholder, Harbour, is expected to own up to 39% of the combined group.
Harbour CEO Linda Z. Cook will be CEO of the combined group and Chrysaor CEO Phill Kirk will be president and CEO Europe.
The stock market announcement said the combined business would have significant scale and diversification through the combination of material operated and non-operated cash generative production hubs in the UK North Sea.
It said the deal would create substantial cost and tax synergies “accelerating the use of Premier’s around $4.1bn of UK tax losses and unlocking significant value for shareholders.”
It would “create a combined business with the potential to offer a meaningful dividend for shareholders over time.”
Premier chairman Roy Franklin said : “The board intends to recommend unanimously this transaction to shareholders as being in the best interests of shareholders and the company. This will mark a new and exciting chapter in Premier’s history.”
Premier CEO Tony Durrant said: “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.
“The transaction will also provide the Combined Group with a solid foundation from which to pursue a fully funded international growth strategy.”
Harbour CEO Linda Cook said: “This transaction is the next step in Harbour’s aspiration to develop a new independent E&P company with global relevance.
“It significantly advances our leading position in the North Sea, where we will continue to re-invest, and expands our geographic footprint to Asia and Latin America.
“We are excited by the Premier assets in these regions and view them as the foundations upon which to build material portfolios and further diversify the company.”
Chrysaor CEO Phil Kirk said: “Through this deal we will become the UK’s largest London-listed independent E&P, by all key metrics.
“With our combined organisation and operatorship of a large part of our now international portfolio, we will have the ability to deliver value safely, and play our part in the energy transition.”