HSF advises on large UK oil producer restructuring

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Herbert Smith Freehills advised the co-ordinating committee of secured lenders on the restructuring of EnQuest PLC, the largest independent UK oil producer in the North Sea.

The HSF team was led by finance partners Laurence Elliott and Thomas Bethel, supported by senior associates John Chetwood, Roger Lawrence, David Kearns and Rakhee Patel.
The matter also involved a number of specialist teams across the firm including: New York and English law Debt Capital Markets (led by partners Gabrielle Wong and Andrew Roberts), Corporate Energy (led by partner Steven Dalton) and Equity Capital Markets (led by partner Greg Mulley).
The firm advised the co-ordinating committee on all aspects of the transaction, including negotiating the terms of the restructuring with the company and other stakeholders, including the ad hoc committee of high yield bondholders.
The transaction has now been successfully implemented with the support of all lenders, 99% of bondholders voting on the proposal and shareholders.
The restructuring is comprised of the following elements:
  • the lenders amended the terms of their existing US$1.2 billion facility agreement;
  • the company amended the terms of its US$650 million New York law high yield bonds and £155 million English law retail notes, implemented by way of an English law scheme of arrangement;
  • a placing and open offer raising approximately £82 million of new equity (trading on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Stockholm); and
  • deferrals of various trade creditors and reaching terms for the continued support of surety bond providers.

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