The loan facility is for a term of 4 years at commercial lending rates. The loan is being arranged and underwritten by Investec Bank (Australia) Limited. Under the terms of the loan, Austral Pacific has agreed, subject to stock exchange approvals expected in the ordinary course, to issue Investec 2.5 million common share purchase warrants. The warrants will be exercisable for 24 months at a price of US$2.11 per common share. McDouall Stuart Corporate Finance Limited and Simpson Grierson acted as financial and legal advisors to Austral Pacific.
The principal purposes of the loan facility are to fund the acquisition of Arrowhead and to meet ongoing costs associated with the development of the Cheal oil field.
In an earlier release dated 11th October 2006, Austral Pacific announced that it had signed a heads of agreement to acquire all the shares of Arrowhead, a small, privately held, New Zealand oil and gas exploration and production company, for net NZ$17 million (US$11.0 million). Austral Pacific now confirms that this acquisition has been completed.
Austral Pacific Chief Executive Officer Rick Webber said, "I am delighted to be able to make this announcement today. Securing the loan facility with Investec represents another milestone for our company. Not only does it provide funding for the completion of the Arrowhead deal, but it also means that we are fully funded through to the completion of the Cheal oil field development in the second quarter of 2007."
Mr. Webber noted that the Arrowhead acquisition was of strategic importance to the company. "Arrowhead Energy Limited is now a wholly-owned subsidiary. The upshot is that Austral Pacific's share in the cornerstone Cheal oil field development has risen from 36.5 per cent to 69.5 per cent while our share in the Kahili gas/condensate field has risen from 60 per cent to 85 per cent. This acquisition effectively doubles the resource base of the Company leading to an overall strengthening of the Company's value and balance sheet going forward."
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