November 16, 2012 / 3:53 PM / in 5 years

Niko skids to 52-week low after stock, debt offerings

* Announces C$252 million offering of stock, debt

* Initial dilution 35 percent, brokerage says

* Shares down 10 percent to year low of C$8.38

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Niko Resources Ltd shares tumbled 10 percent on Friday after the international oil company, already under pressure from a string of exploration disappointments, announced C$252 million ($251 million) in stock and convertible debt offerings.

Niko, best known for its operations in India, was down 92 Canadian cents at a 52-week low of C$8.38 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in the morning session. The shares have lost 84 percent of their value in the past 12 months.

On Thursday, Niko said it would issue stock and convertible debt in bought deals to pay off its outstanding debenture.

Under the offerings, it will issue 12 million shares at C$8.50 each for proceeds of C$102 million, not including overallotments, as well as convertible notes for proceeds of C$100 million.

It will also issue 5.8 million shares in another C$50 million offering to Maju Investments (Mauritius) Pte Ltd, holder of the company’s outstanding convertible debentures.

The offerings come after the company said it was pulling out of a Kurdistan exploration block after drilling yielded no commercial hydrocarbons. The exit from the Iraqi region followed word last week that a fourth well in its Indonesian drilling program was dry.

Credit Suisse cut its 12-month target price on Niko shares to C$11 from C$12, saying the securities offerings will not solve its need for an estimated $100 million in working capital to fund exploration over the next 12-18 months.

It also pointed out that the share issues represent a 35 percent dilution of the stock and another 17 percent if the new convertible debt is considered equity.

Haywood Securities slashed its 12-month target price for Niko to C$20 from C$40, saying that using all equity to repay debt was negative for the shares.

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; Editing by Peter Galloway

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