Gulf Keystone Creditors Win Control as Court Approves Debt Deal

Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. bondholders won control of the oil producer after a London judge approved a debt-restructuring agreement.

The decision gives creditors 85.5 percent of the company, according to a court ruling on Thursday. The agreement won near-unanimous support from bondholders last week.

Gulf Keystone, which operates in the Kurdish region of Iraq, missed bond payments in April as it struggled with the collapse in crude prices to below $50 a barrel. The company has also been hindered by erratic payments from the Kurdistan regional government amid the war against the so-called Islamic State.

Existing shareholders will end up with 14.5 percent of the restructured company, including a 10 percent stake purchased through a $25 million fundraising.

Gulf Keystone in July rebuffed a $300 million takeover offer from DNO ASA, a Norwegian oil company also operating in Kurdistan. DNO has had meetings with major Gulf Keystone stakeholders, its chief financial officer said on Sept. 14.

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