UK independent Premier Oil has confirmed it is in discussions with a number of third parties, including private equity backed Chrysaor, about a potential deal to support its ongoing refinancing efforts.

Responding to a report from Bloomberg, Premier said the talks cover “alternative forms of transactions” to secure the long-term refinancing of its $2.9 billion debt facilities.

The operator, however, clarified that, to date, the terms of the transactions discussed do not provide better outcomes and a refinancing agreement remains Premier’s preferred option for now.

“Discussions on such transactions continue to be explored, in the best interests of all of Premier's stakeholders, but there can be no certainty that these discussions will reach agreement,” the company said on Tuesday.

In August, Premier agreed a head of terms for a long-term refinancing of its debt facilities. The move, which still needs final approval from shareholders and other creditors, would extend the company’s credit maturities from May 2021 to March 2025.

Under the proposal, Premier must raise at least $325 million in equity to extend its debt and complete a planned purchase of North Sea fields from supermajor BP in the operated Andrew Area and in the Shell-operated Shearwater field.

The new equity will help reduce debt, with some $205 million of that being underwritten by creditors that will convert debt to shares.

The plan has so far won support from creditors representing more than 45% of its debt facilities

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Premier and Chrysaor have held preliminary talks about a possible combination of part or all of their businesses, citing unnamed sources.

Both companies declined to comment further following the reports.