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Goldilocks says working on alternative restructuring plan for Noble; includes trade finance, working capital

Noble Group has rejected substantial shareholder Goldilocks' attempt to nominate five non-executive directors at its upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) on April 30.

GOLDILOCKS Investment Company on Friday said it is working on an alternative restructuring plan for Noble Group with other investors, and called on shareholders to repopulate the Noble board in support of its initiatives.

"Goldilocks and a consortium of like-minded investors are prepared to provide Noble with working capital and trade finance. A specific proposal is currently being developed that will be shared with all stakeholders," said Goldilocks in a media release.

Its plan "can preserve value for shareholders and ensure long term and sustainable survival of Noble, a one-time Asian trading powerhouse," said the fund.

Goldilocks added it and strategic partners are in discussions that include the review and assessment of Noble's business plan and earnings potential.

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It said a repopulated board can revisit and resurrect turnaround proposals that were "made to, but ignored by" Noble chairman Paul Brough, and "develop additional turnaround proposals with a view to preserving and enhancing shareholder value".

It did not elaborate on the proposals.

Earlier on Friday, Noble confirmed the receipt of a letter from Goldilocks - its third-largest shareholder - seeking to nominate five non-executive directors at the company's upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) on Apr 30.

On Thursday, Goldilocks announced it had lodged a rejection letter with Noble, regarding the commodities trader's director candidates to be approved at the AGM.

Instead, Goldilocks proposed five of its own nominees as non-executive independent directors.

They comprise Goldilocks investment manager Ajit Vijay Joshi, Abu Dhabi Financial Group general counsel Bachir Nawar, and three Singaporeans with experience as independent directors: Khoo Song Koon, Chow Wai San and Paul Lim Yu Neng.

As at 11.15am on Friday, Noble shares were down 7.5 per cent or 0.8 Singapore cents at S$0.10.