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Noble gains more support from creditors for its restructuring plan

Singapore

NOBLE Group Ltd said on Wednesday that creditors holding the majority of its senior debt now accept its US$3.4 billion restructuring plan.

The beleaguered commodity trader said support for the deal, seen as critical for the firm's survival, has risen to 55 per cent from 46 per cent on March 14.

The proposed restructuring agreement requires approval by a majority of existing senior creditors representing 75 per cent in value of its debt.

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The firm said in a statement that it is making "solid progress" towards the deal and would extend the deadline for subscriptions to April 11.

Noble warned on Monday that it would begin insolvency proceedings if the debt restructuring, which has been opposed by some bondholders and shareholders, was not approved.

Separately, Noble said on Wednesday that it would not make an interest payment due on Thursday on its unsecured credit facility.

The company said the funds owed on the facility would be addressed in its restructuring.

Once Asia's largest commodity trader, Hong Kong-headquartered Noble was plunged into crisis in Fe-bruary 2015 when Iceberg Research questioned its books. Noble has stood by its accounting.

Noble has been negotiating a debt-for-equity swap for months after selling billions of dollars of assets, reporting big losses due to a severe commodities downturn, and cutting hundreds of jobs over the past three years. REUTERS