Afren share price falls as it puts off another interest payment to bondholders

Emma Haslett
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Shares in Afren have collapsed more than 98 per cent in recent months - thanks, in part, to sliding oil prices (Source: Getty)

Afren, the troubled oil producer whose share price plummeted 98 per cent last year, admitted this morning that it will use another 30-day grace period to put off an $11.9m (£7.7m) interest payment due yesterday.

The Aim-listed company added that it was unlikely to make the payment, due on its 2020 bonds, at the end of the grace period, "given the terms of the consensual restructuring that has been agreed with its principal creditors".

The company is already in default after it defaulted on $15m interest payments in March, and then missed a $12.8m interest payment last month. A week later, two of its non-executive directors stepped down. Today it assured investors it had received "assurances" from a committee holding 39 per cent of its 2020 notes and 33 per cent of its 2016, 2019 and 2020 notes that it "has not current intention to take enforcement action" if it doesn't pay.

It added that it expects to be able to provide further information regarding the terms of its recapitalisation "within the next week".

Afren has been hit hard by the fall in global oil prices. Shares fell 71 per cent in January after it admitted a funding crisis may force it to restructure its debt. The following month, takeover talks with Nigerian oil giant Seplat collapsed, sending shares down again.

Having risen 3.5 per cent to 2.64p as the market opened, shares in the company were down 1.7 per cent to 2.51p in mid-morning trading.

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