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Ezion Holdings secures US$1.5b refinancing package with 6 secured lenders

EZION Holdings has secured a US$1.5 billion financial lifeline from its six secured lenders, crossing another milestone in its debt restructuring process.

The liftboat operator said in a bourse filing on Wednesday it has signed binding term sheets with DBS, OCBC, UOB, Maybank, CIMB and Caterpillar Financial for the refinancing package.

This includes minimal fixed principal repayments over the next six years, a reduction in interest rates for these loan facilities, as well as an aggregate of up to US$118 million in additional revolving credit facilities.

Ezion chief executive Chew Thiam Keng and his family, in turn, have offered 100 million or about half of their personal shares to cement support from the secured lenders.

Ezion said the extensive refinancing and restructuring package will strengthen the group's cash flow and provide additional working capital.

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The group added that the agreement with its secured lenders marks "the last leg of this (debt restructuring) exercise" before the group seeks approval from shareholders to issue new bonds, shares and warrants, as part of the restructuring exercise.

Last November, Ezion obtained overwhelming support from the holders of its six series of bonds and securities in a consent solicitation.

Ezion chairman Wang Kai Yuen said: "Ezion is grateful to the secured lenders and all our stakeholders for their strong support for the group's complex refinancing and restructuring exercise. So many parties, including management and staff, have worked tirelessly together with one common purpose. I look forward to their continued support as Ezion navigates out of this sectoral storm into calmer waters."

Ezion said it will apply to the Singapore Exchange to resume trading in its shares after it receives approval from shareholders and completes the issuance of the new shares, warrants and bonds according to the terms of its refinancing and restructuring exercise.

The counter last traded at 19.7 Singapore cents on Aug 8 last year, before trading was suspended.

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