Europe

Premier Oil Plc will be swallowed by Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. in a reverse takeover, marking the end of the road for one of the oldest independent oil explorers, Bloomberg News reported. The deal, which was first reported by Bloomberg, comes after Premier labored for years under a mountain of debt. The company has finally bowed to pressure from creditors, with Chief Executive Officer Tony Durrant abandoning his plan to acquire some of BP Plc’s North Sea assets and agreeing to step down.

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Criminals may have made billions of pounds by exploiting a government loan scheme to help British businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, while large losses are expected from firms unable to repay, the country’s spending watchdog has said, Reuters. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was launched in early May, allowing banks quickly to lend businesses up to 50,000 pounds ($64,875) with 100% state guarantee.

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Fitch Downgrades Cineworld to 'CCC-'

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Cineworld Group plc's (Cineworld) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'CCC-' from 'B-' and senior secured debt issued by its wholly owned subsidiary Crown Finance US Inc. to 'CCC' from ‘B’…Fitch Ratings reported. The downgrade reflects the temporary suspension of operations in the US and UK, fast-depleting liquidity and the continued, significant uncertainty on the pace of recovery as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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A unit of British restaurant chain PizzaExpress is seeking bankruptcy protection in the U.S. PizzaExpress Financing 2 Plc filed for Chapter 15 in the Southern District of Texas Court, according to filing, Bloomberg News reported. Chapter 15 shields foreign companies from lawsuits by U.S. creditors while they reorganize in another country. The iconic restaurant chain had been struggling even before the pandemic as changing dining trends reduced demand for its pizzas, and as Hony’s efforts to expand its business outside the U.K. stretched its balance sheet.

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The Government is set to proceed with reforms to the State’s personal insolvency regime to allow full access to court protections for those struggling debtors hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, The Irish Times reported. Currently someone applying for a personal insolvency arrangement can seek a court review if their mortgage lender refuses what they believe to be a reasonable insolvency proposal. However, in order to seek this review their mortgage arrears must date from before January 1st, 2015.

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The economic impact of the coronavirus resurgence in parts of Europe was laid bare on Monday by data which showed that fresh restrictions to control the spread of the virus had begun to choke off the recovery in the hardest hit country, Spain, the Financial Times reported. The decline in Spanish business sentiment data increases the chances that the eurozone economy will suffer a fresh downturn in the final months of this year, after rebounding from a historic recession caused by the onset of the pandemic in the first half of 2020, economists warned.

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Germany has an extra reason for cheer on Saturday when it celebrates 30 years as a united country: the vanished East German regime is picking up the tab, The Irish Times reported. After a long search – and lengthy court battle – Switzerland’s highest court has ordered Julius Bär bank to pay out 150 million francs (€140 million) that a subsidiary helped hide for East Germany’s ruling party in the dying days of the socialist state. It’s the latest tranche of money clawed back by German authorities in a 30-year game of financial hide-and-seek.

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KLM, the Dutch arm of airline group Air France-KLM, will likely have to cut more jobs than the thousands of layoffs already announced due to the coronavirus pandemic, its chief executive Pieter Elbers said in a message to his staff, Reuters reported. Elbers warned that COVID-19 will limit flights more extensively than the 20-25% drop it had anticipated for next year. “We now expect even lower production, which ultimately means we need fewer people”, Elbers said in his message, seen by Reuters.

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