Indonesian Shipping Firm Berlian Laju Slashes Fleet By 44 Percent

reuters logoJAKARTA, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Indonesian oil and gas shipping firm PT Berlian Laju Tanker, which narrowly escaped bankruptcy last year, said on Thursday it has cut its fleet size by 44 percent and will transfer a stake in its subsidiary to one of its creditors.

The company now has 55 tankers, down from 98 in 2011, and will maintain this level over the next two years even as it sees an improvement in its business due to rising global commodity prices, Director Kevin Wong said at a news briefing.

Berlian Laju, which had struggled with weak freight rates and escalating fuel costs, reached a deal with creditors in March last year to restructure its debt, averting what could have been one of the country’s biggest bankruptcies in years.

The company currently has total debt of $2.1 billion and will transfer a 37 percent stake in PT Buana Listya Tama to one of its creditors, Deutsche Bank, Wong said.

He declined to give more details on the company’s restructuring process.

As part of the previously announced restructuring plan Berlian will have 10 years to repay $400 million in bonds that were previously due in 2014 and $174 million in bonds previously due in 2015. (Reporting by Fathiyah Dahrul and Eveline Danubrata in JAKARTA; Additional reporting by Umesh Desai in HONG KONG; editing by Matt Driskill and Keiron Henderson)

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