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Petroceltic International Plc activist shareholder acquires majority of oil firm’s debt

Worldview Capital, a 29% shareholder, has acquired 69% of Petroceltic’s debt and it intends to propose a restructuring involving a debt-to-equity swap.
Sunny Hill, a subsidiary of Worldview, acquired 69% of Petroceltic's debt at a 'significant discount'.
Petroceltic owes around $232.5mln, and its equity was worth £20mln on March 7.

Petroceltic International Plc’s (LON:PCI) debt conundrum appears closer to unravelling, as its activist shareholder Worldview Capital has now acquired the majority of the company’s debt.

Sunny Hill, a subsidiary of Worldview, revealed in a statement on Thursday evening that it had acquired 69.44% of the group’s outstanding indebtedness from certain members of Petroceltic’s banking syndicate.

The debt was acquired at a significant discount to the debt’s face value, Worldview said.

It comes after Worldview successfully petitioned Ireland’s high court to have an examiner appointed (examinership is a legal state similar in nature to America’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection). The group’s shares were suspended on March 7.

Worldview owns about 29% of the company’s shares and now, after becoming the major creditor, it intends to approach Petroceltic and the examiner with a proposal to restructure the group’s financing arrangements and its capital structure.

It proposes to convert a significant portion of Petroceltic’s outstanding debt into new equity.

According to the shareholder, Petroceltic owed some $232.5mln under the senior bank facility as of March 9.

Worldview said further announcements will be made ‘in due course’.

Previously, Sunny Hill made an offer to Petroceltic shareholders pitched at 3p per share, which valued the whole company at £6.4mln. That transaction required 90% acceptance of shareholders, but, it was rejected by 19% shareholder and Petroceltic shareholder Robert Adair.

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