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Marco Polo gets green light from Singapore court for debt restructuring

MARCO Polo Marine has obtained the go-ahead from the Singapore High Court for its restructuring plan.

The move marks another key step in what may well be the first debt restructuring exercise amid the current downturn to involve deleveraging through severe haircuts.

The offshore and marine group's plan calls for debt forgiveness towards S$258 million worth of debts, which will then pave the way for S$60 million in new equity to be injected into the listed group.

The sanction applications for the schemes of arrangement for both Marco Polo Marine and its key subsidiary, Marco Polo Shipyard, were heard in court on Thursday.

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Marco Polo said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on the same evening it would next be seeking the approval of its shareholders in relation to the restructuring plan.

It will convene an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on Dec 14, at 10am.

Marco Polo Marine chief executive Sean Lee said: "This restructuring of Marco Polo Marine has been a challenging journey, but I am grateful that majority of stakeholders have decided to back our plan and allow the company to move forward, with a strong balance sheet and a comfortable working capital.

"I am very appreciative for the votes of support from our creditors and noteholders and look forward to a calmer journey, with fresh injection of funds from our strategic investors when the restructuring is completed."

Already, Marco Polo has won a majority vote from its noteholders for the restructuring of its S$50 million Singapore dollar note issuance.

The group has another S$202 million of bank loans on its books.

It had asked for 69 per cent, 71 per cent and 95 per cent debt forgiveness from its bank lenders, noteholders and for its contingent liabilities with the two schemes and the notes restructuring proposal.