Premier Oil bondholder expresses ‘deep dissatisfaction’ with refinancing terms

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It’s never over until the fat lady sings.

The management of Premier Oil, the UK independent oil producer, may have breathed a sigh of relief last month when it finally announced the terms of a long-awaited debt refinancing, but it seems that not everyone is happy.

One of the bigger holders of Premier’s $245m convertible bonds on Wednesday spoke out against the terms of the refinancing and accused the company and its advisers of a “lack of transparency and poor communication” during the process.

Hong Kong-based Pyrrho Investments, which owns 10 per cent of Premier Oil’s convertible bonds, expressed its “deep dissatisfaction” with the terms offered.

At the start of last month, Premier Oil announced key terms that had been agreed with “certain significant” convertible bondholders, as well as with advisers to an ad hoc committee set up specially to represent bondholders. The company said at the time that it would distribute full details of those terms to the other holders of its convertible bonds.

In an update issued on Wednesday morning, before Pyrrho’s comments, Premier said terms had been agreed with all seven members of that ad hoc committee, which between them account for 47 per cent of the convertible bonds. Other bondholders outside the committee were encouraged to contact the company’s advisers.

Premier needs 50 per cent of convertible bondholders to lock up to the revised terms in order to call a special meeting at which bondholders will vote on an extraordinary resolution. The resolution will need 75 per cent of votes to pass.

Pyrrho said later on Wednesday that it tried to contact Premier’s advisers at the start of last month, and no attempt was made to invite it to join the ad hoc committee despite its significant holding of the company’s convertible bonds.

“Pyrrho believes that the procedure to date has been unduly hasty and that the so-called ‘ad hoc creditors committee’ is, by no means, representative of the broader community of bondholders,” the investment group said in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon in the UK.

Premier Oil declined to comment.

The company’s shares have been subject to considerable volatility as nervousness lingers over the refinancing, which has taken nearly a year to negotiate. Late on Friday, Premier Oil put out an unexpected statement noting the weakness in its share price and reassuring that it was going through the process of locking up terms of its refinancing with both bondholders and private lenders.

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