Trondheim, 18 June 2020 – In relation to OKEA ASA’s (“OKEA” or the “Company”) ongoing process to amend the terms of the OKEA02 and OKEA03 bond issues (the “Bonds”), the Company has been informed by the Nordic Trustee that a small group of Bondholders representing in excess of 10 % of the outstanding bonds in OKEA02 has requested to put forward a separate summons to a Bondholders’ meeting in OKEA02 to be held on 2 July 2020 (available on www.stamdata.no).
The Company forecasts that it will maintain a healthy liquidity position throughout the period and to be in a position to manage its debt commitments as they come due. The Company also underlines that its near-term financial position will be significantly strengthened by the temporary changes to the Norwegian Offshore Petroleum Tax regulation as resolved by Parliament earlier this week. The Bondholders will benefit substantially from the improved liquidity position by being offered an option to redeem 15% of the bonds at par value in June 2021.
The Company regards the proposal brought forward by the small group of bondholders as highly opportunistic. For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby confirm that the Bondholders’ meetings summoned by the Company will proceed as planned on 29 June 2020.
OKEA’s request to the Bondholders for an amendment of the Leverage Ratio through 2020 and 2021 is brought on by the significant challenges facing the global oil and gas industry amidst the steep drop in oil prices following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the proposal, the Company is requesting Bondholders to accept a temporary amendment of the Leverage Ratio levels, before returning to the original maximum Leverage Ratio level of 2.0x from 1 January 2022, as well as certain changes to Capital Employed Ratio and hedging allowances.
The Company firmly believes that it has put forward a fair proposal and has support for the proposal from Bondholders representing more than 50% in each of OKEA02 and OKEA03. The Company furthermore notes the material appreciation in the market price of the Bonds following the publication of the Company’s proposal on 15 June 2020.
For further info please contact
Birte Norheim, CFO OKEA, +47 952 93 321
DNB Markets: +47 24 16 90 17, firstname.lastname@example.org