EnQuest has agreed to dispose of its 48.75% interest in the Petisovci Project in Slovenia, in return for a 22.5% equity stake (150,903,958 new ordinary shares) in Ascent. EnQuest acquired its interest in the Project through its recent acquisition of Stratic. Based on Ascent's closing share price of 8.5p on December 20, 2010, the value of the shares which will initially be issued to EnQuest is £12.83m.
EnQuest also has a nil-cost option to acquire a further 29,686,000 new ordinary shares in Ascent, subject to certain criteria related to the successful development of the Project. The option will potentially allow EnQuest to benefit from the future success of the Project.
On completion of this transaction, EnQuest will transfer its existing interest in the Petisovci Project to Ascent, increasing Ascent's stake in the Petisovci Concession from 26.25% to 75%.
EnQuest has committed to a 12 month lock-in and a subsequent 12 month orderly market agreement on all of its shares in Ascent, including those resulting from any exercise of the option. In addition, Ascent has agreed to appoint Graham Cooper, EnQuest's Head of Business Development, to the Board of Ascent as a non-executive director.
Graham Cooper, EnQuest's Head of Business Development said, "EnQuest's strategic focus in acquiring Stratic was its interests in West Don and Crawford but this Slovenian project has further potential in its own right. As the operator of this project and the holder of a substantial working interest, Ascent is a natural choice to take over our interest. EnQuest still maintains exposure to the potential benefits of the Petisovci project through its ownership in Ascent and will continue active involvement, enabling us to maximize the value of this asset for EnQuest shareholders. We very much look forward to working with Ascent's Managing Director, Jeremy Eng, and his team."
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