EnQuest to buy Suncor assets for $325 million with refinanced debt

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The Suncor Energy logo is seen at their head office in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

(Reuters) - Oil producer EnQuest agreed to buy Suncor’s 27% stake in the Golden Eagle fields for $325 million, roughly equivalent to its market capitalisation, on the back of a planned debt refinancing and equity raise, it said on Thursday.

The company, which has net debt of around $1.3 billion, said the deal would add around 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to its output and $100 million in net present value, meaning the difference between projected earnings and costs.

Golden Eagle, operated by Chinese-owned oil and gas firm CNOOC, would earn EnQuest around $13 million a month, Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Swinney said.

EnQuest can deduct money earned between January and the closing of the deal, expected by the end of the third quarter pending EnQuest reaching a refinancing package with its banks, from the purchase price.

EnQuest has accumulated so-called tax losses in Britain amounting to around $3 billion, which it can offset against future profits, making additional production an attractive tax proposition.

Shareholder approval for the acquisition is required, but Chief Executive Amjad Bseisu, who also owns around 11% of the group according to Refinitiv data, has underwritten the planned $50 million equity raise underpinning the deal.

The North Sea-focused oil producer expects average net group production this year to be between 46,000 and 52,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), lower than the 2020 output of 59,116 boepd.

EnQuest shares were down 6% in afternoon trading at 12.9 pence.

Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru and Shadia Nasralla in London; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Devika Syamnath and Bernadette Baum