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Swiber to rescind wind-up application and go under judicial management; claims now at US$50.5m

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IN a stunning reversal, Swiber Holdings announced on Friday night that it will be withdrawing Wednesday's winding-up application, and instead place the group under judicial management.

Additionally, Swiber also revealed that since its winding-up announcement, the group has received additional claims of about US$24.6 million.

This latest development comes two days after Swiber announced a winding-up petition that had racked markets and stoked fears of contagion.

A day later on Thursday, Swiber had a discussion with the company's "major financial creditor", according to Swiber's provisional liquidator, Cameron Lindsay Duncan, in a filing to the Singapore Exchange late Friday night. He did not name the creditor.

They had indicated that "they are supportive of an application for the company to place itself into judicial management instead of liquidation," wrote Mr Duncan.

As a result, Swiber and its subsidiary, Swiber Offshore Construction (SOC), have taken out applications on Friday to place the company and SOC under judicial management and interim judicial management.

"As a consequence, the company has applied to discharge the provisional liquidation order and to withdraw the winding up application made on July 27, 2016," said Mr Duncan.

Swiber had previously announced that it had received outstanding letters of demand (LOD) totalling US$25.9 million.

Mr Duncan also revealed on Friday night that an additional US$24.6 million was received from claimants, thus increasing the total to about US$50.5 million.

"The company is currently seeking legal advice on the claims received by it and will make further announcements as and when appropriate," he wrote.

Separately, Swiber said that "an error" was made in an earlier announcement regarding director and group chief financial officer Leonard Tay's resignation, and he remains as its CFO.

It also clarified that Mr Tay, group vice-chairman Francis Wong, and director Nitish Gupta continue to remain as directors of certain subsidiaries of the group.