Ascent Resources plunges after update

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Shares of European oil and gas firm Ascent Resources (Berlin: A2N.BE - news) went into freefall on Monday after its new Chief Executive Len Reece outlined his plans to stop the group's underperformance and confirmed it is not in talks with regards to the sale of the group.

Ascent said near term objectives include completing formalities with Slovenian authorities to take the Petišovci project through to production.

It has appointed FirstEnergyCapital to assess its options, which may include farm outs, the sale of assets and the merger or sale of the company.

Ascent, which said it has sufficient cash resources to meet its overheads until the end of 2012, said it in discussions with a number of parties with respect to raising additional finance to meet its future funding requirements and will provide further updates in this regard in due course.

Len Reece said: "I am determined to arrest the trend of historical underperformance. I am pleased that the board has recognised these problems and is determined to deliver far better results by taking steps to increase efficiency, becoming more cost-effective and improving Ascent's technical and operating capability".

The group is in preliminary discussions with a number of third parties concerning a number of potential transactions as well as other funding solutions, although no discussions have taken place with regard to an offer for the company.

"None of these discussions have progressed to a stage where the outcome is definitive and there can be no certainty that any of these discussions will result in a transaction," the group added.

Ascent said it would provide further updates in due course.

Shares of Ascent fell 20% to 1.20p at 09:20 in London.

CJ