Wednesday 13 December 2017

Petroceltic finally falls to long term critic Worldview

Examiner Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton. Photo: Frank McGrath
Examiner Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton. Photo: Frank McGrath
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Biggest shareholder Worldview is set to finally gain full control of troubled oil and gas explorer Petroceltic after its rescue bid for the business was accepted.

Earlier in the year Worldview, a long time and outspoken critic of Petroceltic's management, made a £6.4m (€8.1m) bid for Petroceltic.

However, the debt-laden oil explorer rebuffed the offer, saying that it undervalued the business.

The bid lapsed on April 15, after the business sought court protection from its creditors.

Petroceltic said yesterday that court-appointed Examiner Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton had decided in favour of the Worldview proposal after a sale and investment process seeking best and final offers by last week.

"Following this process, the Examiner has selected Worldview International Management as the successful investor and expects to proceed to sign an investment agreement over the coming days which will result in Worldview taking control of the entire group including those companies outside of the Examinership process," Petroceltic said.

Worldview's status as the insolvent company's biggest creditor had already made it the favourite to gain control of the business.

Yesterday, Petroceltic said that Mr McAteer will now hold a number of meetings of shareholder and creditors to allow them to vote on Worldview's proposed scheme.

Worldview is the oil explorer's biggest shareholder and its biggest lender, after acquiring 69.44pc of Petroceltic's $232.5m of debt in March at a price understood to have been around 30 cents in the dollar.

With shareholders effectively wiped out already, Worldview's discounted acquisition of the company debt from the original lender banks means the bulk of losses stemming from the insolvency have already been sustained.

The company has continued to trade throughout the Examinership process.

Under that process the final say on restructuring Petroceltic's balance sheet rests with the Commercial Court, which must formally approve the Examiner's scheme of arrangement proposals.

Irish Independent

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