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Singapore court gives green light for Swiber to be placed under JM
THE Singapore High Court on Thursday granted the application to place ailing offshore firm Swiber Holdings and its unit Swiber Offshore Construction under judicial management (JM).
In making the court order, Judicial Commissioner Kannan Ramesh said the judicial managers (from KPMG) should make available updates to creditors every six weeks although this won't be necessary if a meeting is called within 60 days.
No creditors were physically present at the hearing on Thursday, although over 10 of them including Swiber's principal banker DBS were represented by their respective lawyers, all of whom expressed "no objection" or took "no position" in the application to put Swiber under JM.
In his submission earlier as counsel for Swiber, Ashok Kumar of BlackOak LLC said that there was clearly no dispute that the oilfield services firm was insolvent.
The key question, he said, is whether there is a real prospect of rehabilitating Swiber under the JM which would result in a more orderly disposal of assets compared to a wind-up.
While it would be difficult at this stage for the interim JM to predict the outcome of the plans to rescue Swiber and the potential returns, if the projects do come through, Mr Kumar said the returns would likely be better than in a liquidation scenario.