Rickmers Noteholders Reject Debt Restructuring Plan

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December 21, 2016

Photo: Rickmers Maritime

ReutersSINGAPORE, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Rickmers Maritime, a Singapore-listed trust that operates container ships, said investors rejected a debt restructuring plan for its S$100 million ($69 million) note on Wednesday, prolonging uncertainty about its future.

Rickmers is among a growing list of companies in Singapore that have been struggling to meet their debt commitments this year and have asked bondholders for leniency.

Increasingly, individual bond investors, including those in Rickmers, have been teaming up to seek better terms, making it more difficult for some of the indebted companies to pursue restructuring plans.

In November, Rickmers had said it faced the risk of going out of business given the uncertain outcome of its debt restructuring discussions. The company has been struggling amid the broader downturn in the shipping industry.

The trust’s manager will “prudently consider and assess alternative proposals for the restructuring of the notes should such proposals be presented” and continues to work towards maintaining adequate liquidity, it said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday.

It also said it was in discussions with some of its senior lenders in relation to a potential divestment of assets for working capital purposes.

Trading in Rickmers’ units and in the notes has been suspended since Nov. 15.

It missed an interest payment last month on the note maturing in 2017.

In Singapore, many companies seeking debt restructuring are in the offshore oil and gas services sector as a rout in global oil prices until last year led to a scaling back of projects.

Swissco Holdings Ltd, a provider of rig and vessel chartering services, decided last month to file for interim judicial management – a process that allows a financially distressed company the room to return to financial health under court supervision.

In July, oilfield services firm Swiber Holdings applied to place itself under judicial management.

($1 = 1.4444 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Stephen Coates)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

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