Genel share price jumps on debt buy-back plan

Jessica Morris
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Genel is chaired by Tony Hayward (Source: Getty)

Shares in former BP boss Tony Hayward's company jumped today, after the group revealed plans to reduce its debt burden through a partial buy-back of bonds.

Genel will carry out a reverse tender offer to the holders of $750m worth of bonds, and it intends to purchase at least $50m of these at face value.

It said that the price will be determined through a reverse book-building, also known as a "dutch auction".

The buyback offer will take place from 18 March to 22 March, with the price and number of bonds purchased due to be announced the following day.

Genel's shares surged 11.4 per cent to 88.25p this morning.

Analysts also said that the company's downgrade to estimated reserves from its assets in Iraq was better than expected. It cut the estimated reserves there to 543m barrels from 680.3 barrels.

"Following the drastic cut witnessed at Taq Taq, some investors were concerned a reduction of the same order of magnitude could take place at Tawke," Stephane Foucau, analyst at First Energy, said.

Genel was forced cut estimated reserves at its Taq Taq oil field to 356m barrels down from 683m barrels due to the oil price rout, leading to it stomaching a $1.1bn impairment charge in its full-year results.

This helped Genel report its biggest loss since a stock market float four years ago.

It has had to contend with oil prices falling from a high of over $100 per barrel in the middle of 2014, to around $40 today.

Tony Hayward has chaired Genel since stepping down as chief exec last year. He left BP in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and had led Kurdistan-focused Genel since 2011.

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