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Frustrated Mercator Lines judicial manager jettisons old lifeline, searches for new investors

THE search is on again for a new lifeline for shipping company Mercator Lines' frustrated judicial manager, as he jettisons one that was thrown to it three months ago.

The company's judicial manager, Yit Chee Wah, said in a release to the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday morning that he has terminated an agreement that the company had with Nickolaos Mitropoulos and Dimitrios Podaridis.

This is because they have failed to meet certain set conditions, "despite several extensions of time granted by the judicial manager".

In April, Mercator said that it signed an implementation agreement with the two persons. Together, they wholly own three Australian businesses: Champion Commodities, Country Fresh Milk and Champion Beverages.

But on Wednesday, judicial manager Yit Chee Wah said: "The judicial manager wishes to inform that the implementation agreement has been terminated by the judicial manager on behalf of the company, on account of the individual parties' failure to meet their condition precedents, despite several extensions of time granted by the judicial manager."

The judicial manager will hence "recommence efforts to source for other potential investors for the transfer of the company's listing status", said the release.

Mercator underwent judicial management in January 2016, and has since been selling its vessels for cash.

When the implementation agreement was announced in April this year, the judicial manager said that one of the company's major intangible assets is its listing status. "If the transfer is successful, it will provide some recovery to incumbent shareholders and creditors of the company."