You are here

Noble completes debt restructuring, transfers assets to new entity

Noble Group said, as its restructuring took effect on Thursday, that a total US$800 million in new money debt has been made available to New Noble - the restructured entity whose planned listing on the Singapore bourse was derailed by an ongoing probe into improper accounting.

NOBLE Group said on Thursday that it has restructured its debt and transferred substantially all of its assets into an entity known as New Noble.

New Noble, meanwhile, has access to US$800 million of debt facilities, which will allow it to continue its core business of commodity trading.

Noble shareholders have been allocated a 20 per cent stake in New Noble, and will be required to take certain steps to ensure that they are registered as shareholders of the restructured entity. Senior creditors hold 70 per cent of New Noble, while management control the remaining 10 per cent.

Noble independent non-executive directors Wayne Porritt and Tim Isaacs, who joined the board in March and April 2018 to guide Noble through the restructuring, have resigned given the latest milestone. Current chairman Paul Brough will remain as chairman of New Noble until "a suitable successor has been identified", the company said. Nominees by substantial shareholder Goldilocks and creditors, management representatives and certain independent directors from the current Noble will also be appointed to the new board.

Market voices on:

"The (Noble) board expresses its gratitude for the experience and expertise which Mr Porritt and Mr Isaacs have brought to the company through the course of the year to enable the restructuring to reach a successful conclusion," the company said.

New Noble will not be listed in light of a recent decision by Singapore regulators to block a listing on the Singapore Exchange. The company is also facing an investigation into its past accounts.

Noble said that it sent a detailed response to Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority on Dec 11 to address questions raised by the regulator.

"The company and New Noble will continue to cooperate fully with ACRA in relation to the joint investigation," Noble said. "Following detailed advice from its accounting advisors, the company continues to hold the strong view that all of its financial statements have been prepared in accordance with all relevant accounting standards."

As part of the restructuring, certain Noble creditors have been issued with new debt and equity in New Noble. All claims from creditors under the restructuring scheme have been released. Noble's perpetual securities will also be exchanged for new ones by New Noble.