Premier Oil to buy E.ON’s UK North Sea assets -sources

LONDON (Reuters) – UK-listed mid-sized oil producer Premier Oil <PMO.L> is buying German utility E.ON’s <EONGn.DE> oil and gas assets in the UK part of the North Sea, three banking and industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The sources did not disclose the exact size of the transaction but said it was in the area of up to 150 million euros (112.30 million pound). Premier shares were earlier suspended pending an announcement.

Premier declined to comment.

Benchmark crude oil prices have hit fresh almost-12-year lows this week.

Falling prices have spurred expectations for an increase in mergers this year, as companies with weakened balance sheets look to sell assets and stronger players seek bargains.

E.ON put its North Sea oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) business under review in late 2014 when it announced plans to spin off its energy trading, conventional generation and E&P into a separate unit called Uniper.

Last year it sold its Norwegian oil and gas assets to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman for $1.6 billion.

(Reporting by Freya Berry, Ron Bousso, Christoph Steitz, Karolin Schaps; editing by Jason Neely)

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