Singapore’s Ezra Says it Faces Court Application to Wind Up Unit of Subsea JV

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February 15, 2017

The EMAS CHIYODA Subsea pipelay and construction vessel Lewek Constellation. Photo: EMAS CHIYODA Subsea

ReutersSINGAPORE, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Debt-laden Singaporean oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings Ltd said late on Tuesday that a creditor of a business owned by an Ezra joint venture had filed a court application requesting that the JV’s subsidiary be wound up.

Ezra said Necotrans, an Africa-focused logistics firm, is a creditor of EMAS-AMC Pte Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ezra subsea services joint venture, Emas Chiyoda Subsea. Ezra has a 40 percent stake in the latter.

In a stock exchange filing, Ezra said it was assessing the impact of the application. Japanese firms Chiyoda Corp and Nippon Yusen KK own the rest of Emas Chiyoda Subsea with stakes of 35 percent and 25 percent respectively.

Earlier this month, Ezra said it may have to take a $170 million writedown on the JV. In January, Chiyoda said it expected risks and expenses of 38 billion yen ($338 million) in relation to the JV, while NYK wrote down 13 billion yen.

A spokesman for NYK said it does expect any further impact from the Necotrans application so far. Chiyoda did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Ezra has been trying to restructure its operations and balance sheet to remain in business. Last week, it received a statutory demand from offshore vessel owner Forland Subsea to pay about S$4.4 million ($3 million), or face a winding up application.

The troubled company is among a range of Singapore offshore and marine services firms that have been pummelled by weak demand, causing a number of firms to struggle in meet debt obligations. Singapore banks are taking a hit as companies in the industry restructure their bonds and loans in a weak operating environment.

Ezra said earlier this month it had net current liabilities of $887.2 million at Aug. 31.

Its shares have lost more than S$2 billion ($1.4 billion)in market capitalisation since a peak in 2007, Thomson Reuters data shows. Its shares were trading 4 percent lower at S$0.023 by 0255 GMT on Wednesday.

Ezra said in its filing the application for the JV unit to be wound up is set to be heard in court on Mar. 3.

($1 = 1.4223 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

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