Total financial debt at the end of 2012 was GBP 87.9 million ( CAD 140.7 million), representing borrowings under the Breagh credit facility. In early January 2013, additional debt of USD 12 million ( CAD 11.9 million) was assumed upon completion of the Vitol loan.
A number of equity and mezzanine financings have been considered by the Company to raise approximately CAD 50 million or more to cover expenditure requirements in the first half of 2013 and into the third quarter. This would provide adequate funding to end June 2013. In addition, upfront cash proceeds of USD 29.25 million from the sale of a portion of the Midia licence to ExxonMobil/OMV Petrom (as announced in October 2012) are expected in March or April 2013 following government and regulatory approval, although these are currently pledged to repay the Vitol loan as part of its Romanian security package (and the Breagh credit facility lenders have a second ranking charge over this security package). However, there is no certainty that the funds will be received in this timeframe. Progress continues towards a wider sell down of offshore licenses, which could provide additional funds in the second quarter of 2013 and a carry of E&A expenditures. In relation to Cladhan, the Company is pursuing an industry-based solution to funding development expenditure.
The Company has engaged a financial advisor to proceed with a high yield bond issue in the second quarter of 2013. Such an issue would be used to repay the existing Breagh credit facility in its entirety, to repay any short term debt as part of the short term CAD 50 million (indicative) financing referred to above, and to provide additional funds to be used towards Breagh Phase 2 and (if required) Cladhan development expenditures. The size of such a high yield bond issue could be in the order of USD 250 million. By refinancing the Breagh credit facility, the Company will be able to access Breagh Phase 1 cash flows from June 2013 onwards, rather than having to wait until project completion is achieved under the Breagh credit facility, which is expected to be around mid 2014. Such cash flows can be used towards Breagh Phase 2 and (if required) Cladhan development expenditures, as well as other corporate activities.Forward-Looking Statements All statements included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that Sterling expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. In addition, statements relating to reserves or resources are deemed to be forward-looking statements as they involve the implied assessment, based on certain estimates and assumptions that the reserves and resources described can be profitably produced in the future. In particular, this document contains forward-looking information and statements regarding: (i) the intended use of proceeds from the anticipated sale of assets and financings, and (ii) future capital expenditures and projects.