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Canadian Financier Prem Watsa Backs Rescue Squad at Exco

The loan from Mr. Watsa’s firm, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. FRFHF 0.44 % , was part of a $591 million loan package Exco revealed Tuesday that is designed to bolster its balance sheet. The new cash comes with a pricey 12.5% interest rate—though the financing also eliminated nearly half of Exco’s bond debt, offsetting that cost.

Dallas-based Exco and other energy companies are struggling with steep declines in the values of both oil and gas the past year. The tumble has rendered many wells unable to produce profitably and has sent some relatively small, independent energy firms hustling to raise capital.

Exco has responded to...