Israeli conglomerate Delek Group Ltd. said on Jan. 27 it was looking to dual-list the shares of its North Sea energy operations in London and Tel Aviv, with bondholders set to receive some of those shares.
Delek said its board instructed the company's management to examine the possibility of listing Ithaca Energy Ltd. shares for trading on the London Stock Exchange by way of an exchange purchase offer through a voluntary tender to be offered to Delek's debt holders.
As part of the process, Ithaca's shares would also be listed in Israel, in accordance with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange dual listing rules, Delek said.
Ithaca in late 2019 bought Chevron Corp.'s British North Sea oil and gas fields for $2 billion.
In the tender, bondholders will be offered the possibility to exchange a part of the debt they are holding for marketable shares of Ithaca up to a maximum of 25% of Ithaca, so that after completion of the process Delek will hold 75% of Ithaca shares, Delek said.
Delek has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and drop in global oil prices. It has been selling assets to raise funds to pay its lenders and bondholders.
It noted that in 2020, cash flow and dividends received totaled 3.4 billion shekels (US$1 billion), which have been used for early repayment of all its liabilities to banks and payments of principal and interest of its bonds.
Delek owes more than 5 billion shekels to bondholders.
"We are continuing to initiate deals and to assess new steps that will lead to strengthening the group's capital and continuing the improvement of its financial positioning," said CEO Idan Wallace.
(US$1 = 3.2638 shekels)
Schlumberger has spent billions of dollars to take over managing customers' oil fields, in some cases becoming an investor in the fields, while seeking to profit from increased oil production.
Merging Ithaca Energy with an international group would be part of a process of turning it into a public company traded in London, Delek said in a statement.
Israel's Delek Group is close to clinching Chevron's oil and gas fields in the British North Sea, which have a price tag of around $2 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.