Worldview considering takeover bid for Petroceltic

Petroceltic’s main independent shareholder is considering a takeover offer for the troubled Irish exploration firm.

International investment management firm, Worldview Capital Management is a near 30% shareholder in Petroceltic and has been at loggerheads with the Irish firm’s management for more than a year over the company’s strategic focus.

The latest Irish explorer to feel the heat from the oil price meltdown, Petroceltic launched a wide-reaching strategic review in December, effectively putting itself up for sale.

After saying it had breached its banking covenants and had been unable to meet debt repayments, it added that it didn’t have certainty on its liquidity beyond early January.

That horizon has since been widened to the end of January, with its lenders waiving senior bank facility repayments to January 29, and indicating willingness to consider further waivers in order to allow the strategic review/sales process to progress.

Yesterday’s update saw Worldview — conspicuous by its silence in recent weeks — announce that it is “in the process of evaluating and preparing for a possible all cash offer” for the 70% of Petroceltic it doesn’t already own.

Petroceltic’s share price, was up by nearly 48% in London yesterday at 17p.

Worldview, however, said that while its evaluation of Petroceltic is ongoing, “there can be no certainty, at this stage, that any offer will ultimately be made, nor as to the terms of any such offer, should one be forthcoming.”

Petroceltic has its assets secured against its loans and the bulk of its debts have been invested in its flagship asset, the much-heralded Ain Tsila gas field in Algeria, which is due to see first gas flow in late 2017.


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