Havila Shipping’s Debt Plan Fails to Gain Support

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January 19, 2016

was one of two AHTS’ that the company was forced to lay-up September 2015. Photo: Havila Shipping

By Luca Casiraghi

(Bloomberg) — Havila Shipping ASA said it has so far failed to get enough support from bondholders to postpone repayments on 5.7 billion kroner ($647 million) of debt.

The Norwegian operator of oil-rig support vessels canceled a meeting with bondholders scheduled for Wednesday as it seeks further talks to reach an agreement with bond creditors by the end of the month, according to a statement on Tuesday from the Fosnavaag-based company. Havila is seeking to extend the maturity of its 2016 and 2017 bonds to 2020 and defer interest payments on some of the notes, according a presentation on the Oslo Stock Exchange on Jan. 5.

Havila is asking for a reprieve to cope with crude oil prices that have dropped to a 12-year low. The company, which has to repay 2.8 billion kroner in interest and principal before the end of 2017, said it’s seeking to restructure debt because it expects adverse market conditions in the next few years.

The restructuring “does not fix the problem, which is too much leverage,” said Kristoffer Pedersen, an analyst at Nordea Bank in Oslo wrote in a note to clients on Jan. 8. “We find extremely unlikely that the unsecured debt can be repaid in 2020.”

The company’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer didn’t returns calls and e-mails seeking comment on the debt talks.

Havila’s bank lenders have agreed to the proposal, which also allows the company to slow down payment of its loans. The company still needs the support of two thirds of each class of bondholders. If the proposal is accepted, shareholders will inject 200 million kroner of additional cash, according to the statement.

–With assistance from Neil Denslow.

©2016 Bloomberg News

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