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Hurricane Energy launches its own sale after unsolicited bid

LONDON (Reuters) - North Sea oil and gas producer Hurricane Energy launched a formal sale process after receiving an unsolicited offer from an unnamed bidder which its board considers too low, it said on Wednesday.

Last year, Hurricane effectively gave control to its creditors in a debt-to-equity swap after its downgraded its flagship field and production outlook with its share price collapsing to below 1 penny in May 2021.

The bidder offered 7.7 pence per share in cash, a premium of 13% compared to the mid-market closing price of 6.8 pence per share on Tuesday, a price Hurricane's board does not recommend its shareholders to accept, it said.

It says it will have a cash pile of $118 million at the end of the year at an oil price of $90 per barrel and holds $370 million in so-called tax losses which can be offset against future tax bills in Britain.

Hurricane's biggest shareholder at around 29%, Crystal Amber Fund, has told the company it wants to monetise its shareholding, Hurricane said.

It added that if the sale process does not lead to a deal, it will return up to $70 million in the first quarter of next year, with further payouts possible in the future.

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Jason Neely)