Premier Oil seeks new covenant waiver extension – source

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LONDON (Reuters) – Premier Oil (L:) is asking debt holders to extend a waiver on its borrowing terms beyond Sept. 30 while it tries to convince at least 75% of its creditors to back a plan to raise fresh equity, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

Premier has to reach this creditor approval threshold before it can officially start an attempt to raise $530 million, which it needs to ward off a debt crunch and go through with buying assets from BP (L:) to boost its production.

Premier declined to comment.

It needs to raise at least $325 million in fresh cash for the plan to succeed. A source with knowledge of the matter said last week Premier had received indicative, non-binding support in excess of $325 million.

Meanwhile, Premier is also in talks with rival private equity-backed North Sea producer Chrysaor for an alternative deal to solve these issues.

Premier’s biggest creditor, hedge fund ARCM, was due on Friday to auction $200 million of Premier debt at 72 cents to the dollar, but has not yet published results of the sale.

ARCM prefers pursuing the alternative talks to Premier’s plan to raise capital, according to a source close to its thinking.

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