Singapore’s Marco Polo Marine Seeks to Delay Bond Payment Amid Business Review

Marco Polo Marine has become the latest the latest oil-related firm in the city-state to show financial strain from crude's drop. Photo credit: Marco Polo Marine
Marco Polo Marine has become the latest oil-related firm in Singapore to show financial strain from the drop in crude oil price. Photo credit: Marco Polo Marine

by David Yong

(Bloomberg) — A Singapore provider of barges and tugs for coal, steel scrap and iron ores plans to ask bondholders for approval to delay paying S$50 million ($37 million) of securities due next month after appointing an external adviser to review its business.

Marco Polo Marine Ltd. told some noteholders of the plan at a meeting Tuesday, and those present “appeared generally supportive,” it said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange. The firm said it will hold another meeting on Sept. 16 to allow investors to digest the proposed terms of the debt extension, which it didn’t disclose.

The company joins regional peers including Otto Marine Ltd., Perisai Petroleum Teknologi Bhd. and AusGroup Ltd. in seeking forbearance from creditors amid a slump in oil prices that have crimped spending by their customers. Energy-services provider Swiber Holdings Ltd. filed to operate under court supervision in late July after running out of cash to pay lenders and bondholders, while Keppel Corp. and Sembcorp Marine Ltd., the world’s biggest builders of oil rigs, have both reported a plunge in profits.

Marco Polo Marine’s 5.75 percent bonds are due Oct. 18, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The firm appointed KPMG Services Pte as adviser to conduct an independent business review of the group business, according to a Sept. 7 filing. The group had S$18.3 million of cash as of June 30, while $186.5 million of its S$253.8 million borrowings were due within 12 months, according to its latest published accounts.

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