Ashurst is advising oil and gas exploration and production company Serica Energy plc on its acquisition of BP's interests in the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields in the North Sea and associated infrastructure. The board of Serica believes that the acquisition will be transformational for the Company, positioning it as one of the leading mid-tier independent oil and gas producers on the UK Continental Shelf.
The consideration will be satisfied in cash, nearly all of which will be deferred or contingent and dependent on the performance of the assets being acquired. The acquisition will result in significant increases in reserves and production for Serica, as well as the diversification of production streams and export routes.
Due to the size of the transaction, the acquisition is a reverse takeover for AIM-listed Serica and requires the approval of its shareholders. Other conditions to the acquisition include approval by the Oil and Gas Authority and BP's partners in the fields. Completion is expected to take place in mid-2018. On announcement of the transaction following the lifting of the suspension of Serica's shares, the market capitalisation of the Company more than doubled to approximately £180 million.
The Ashurst team was led by corporate partner Michael Robins, assisted by associates Louise Chan, Jake Hadfield and James Powell. Counsel David Baxter advised on incentives aspects of the transaction, assisted by associate Rebecca Servian, with partner Ruth Buchanan advising on employment matters, assisted by associate Sarah-Beth Neville.