Ascent Resources granted loan to repay debts

LONDON (ShareCast) - Ascent Resources has been granted another loan to repay debts and finance projects in the New Year.

The European-focused oil and gas exploration company has entered into an agreement with Henderson Global Investors and Henderson Alternative Investment Advisor for the subscription of convertible loan notes of up to £5.5m.

Part of the funds will be used to repay the firm's £2.3m loan from YA Global Master SPV, an investment fund managed by Yorkville Advisors. The Yorkville loan facility charge an interest rate of 9% per annum. Ascent owed £1.9m by December 2012, in addition to about £0.8m of debt to Cento Bank in the company's Italian subsidiary.

While the company had sufficient cash resources to meet overheads until year end, it needed the loan to meet overheads and to continue making repayments to Yorkville and Cento bank of £1.9m and cira £350,000 respectively.

The company attributed a decline in sales and demand of hydrocarbons for its underperformance.

"Monthly revenues from the sale of hydrocarbons are declining, as expected, as the field nears towards the end of its life over the next 12 to 18 months and hence the company does not currently have the capital resources to make its loan repayments and also meet its other obligations," the company said in a statement.

"The company has therefore sought other sources of financing, including additional loans from major shareholders and other third parties."

The loan will also be used to finance its Petišovci Project in Slovenia, which has been stalled awaiting various signatures that have been unreasonably withheld.

The convertible loan will be issued in units of £1 and interest will be at a fixed rate of 9% per annum, which will be rolled up quarterly in arrears and included as principal to be repaid or converted.

The news sent the share price plunging 35% to 1.02p by mid-morning.