Ascent shares decline on open offer plans

Shares in oil and gas company Ascent Resources fell by nearly a third on Friday after the group announced plans to issue shares through an open offer and convertible loan notes as part of its agreement with Henderson Global Investors.

Shares in oil and gas company Ascent Resources fell by nearly a third on Friday after the group announced plans to issue shares through an open offer and convertible loan notes as part of its agreement with Henderson Global Investors.

The company plans to issue either 500m ordinary shares at 0.5p each or 2.5m convertible loan notes at 100p each on the basis of one offer share for every 2.05 existing ordinary shares, or one convertible loan note for every 410 existing ordinary shares.

The offer follows a previous announcement at the end of December when the company was extremely short of funds and raised vital funds by way of a subscription by Henderson of convertible loan notes of up to £5.5m.

The company was obliged to seek a whitewash (the approval of the waiver of the mandatory offer obligations), which would enable Henderson to convert the loan notes into ordinary shares and own up to 30% of the company.

£2.5m of the £5.5m rescue funding will be made available for shareholders to purchase convertible loan notes on the same terms of Henderson by way of the open offer.

If the convertible loan notes were to be fully converted by Henderson, it would hold around 58.9% of the total voting rights of the company. Ascent has waived Henderson's obligation to make a takeover offer to shareholders.

The group said it believes the fundraising gives the group sufficient capital to continue trading through to the fourth quarter of 2013, and will enable to to make "significant progress" with the Petiovci asset, which caused the funding problems when it failed to come on stream.

NR

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