October 9, 2015 / 10:35 AM / 3 years ago

Israel's Delek buys $66 mln stake in North Sea oil producer Ithaca

LONDON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The investment arm of Israeli gas firm Delek Group has acquired a near 20 percent stake in North-Sea focused oil producer Ithaca Energy for $66 million, the companies said on Friday.

The deal underlines investors still see value in North Sea related businesses, despite a slump in oil prices and high operating costs in one of the world’s most mature oil and gas basins.

Ithaca, whose London-listed shares have sunk more 60 percent since the oil price started to decline in June 2014, said it would use Delek’s investment to strengthen its balance sheet and reduce debt.

Ithaca’s London-listed stock was up 13.5 percent at 1030 GMT.

“The investment provides a solid vote of confidence in the long term value of Ithaca by a successful oil and gas investor,” said Ithaca chief executive Les Thomas in a statement.

Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Keith Weir

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