Premier Oil shares fall 25% amid $2.9bn refinancing

Shares of North Sea producer Premier Oil fell about 25% on Thursday after it said it will seek to raise $530 million from shareholders as part of a $2.9 billion refinancing agreement.

The company also announced a pre-tax loss of $334.8 million for the six months to 30 June 2020 compared to a profit of $119.9 million a year earlier.

The agreement includes an equity raise of $230 million to fund its recently-announced acquisitions from BP — and a further $300 million of new equity concurrently raised to reduce debt.

The equity issuance as part of the proposed refinancing will require shareholder approval.

Premier Oil shares have fallen more than 60% in the past 12 months.

“We have taken decisive action to safeguard our people and our assets,” said Premier Oil CEO Tony Durrant.

“We have reduced our expenditure which, together with our hedging programme and the continued underlying performance of our assets, resulted in us generating free cash flow for the period, despite the collapse in commodity prices.

“The BP Acquisitions and our proposed long-term refinancing will position Premier to benefit from materially rising near-term production, additional free cash flow generation and a strengthening balance sheet, against a backdrop of a recovering oil price.”