British oil major BP raises $12 billion in debt, says FT

FILE PHOTO: A BP logo at a petrol station in London, Britain January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo

(Reuters) - British oil major BP Plc raised $12 billion of debt with equity-like features, taking advantage of low interest rates to fortify its balance sheet, the Financial Times (FT) reported here on Wednesday.

The report of the fundraising comes days after BP decided to write off up to $17.5 billion from the value of its assets, betting the COVID-19 crisis would pressure energy demand and accelerate a shift away from fossil fuels.

The oil company raised $5 billion, 4.75 billion euros ($5.34 billion) and 1.25 billion pounds, the FT said, adding that BP locked in annual interest rates as low as 3.25% on some of its new euro notes.

BP had previously never raised money by issuing hybrid bonds, which place less of a strain on the balance sheet because the principal never has to be repaid, the newspaper said.

BP did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath