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SingPost's struggling US units fail to find suitable buyers, to seek court protection

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Mail and logistics firm Singapore Post (SingPost) said on Thursday that its six-month sale process for its US e-commerce businesses Jagged Peak and TradeGlobal has closed with "no acceptable offers".

MAIL and logistics firm Singapore Post (SingPost) said on Thursday that its six-month sale process for its US e-commerce businesses Jagged Peak and TradeGlobal has closed with "no acceptable offers".

The group had received eight expressions of interest which resulted in two non-binding offers, the terms of which were "commercially unfeasible" to SingPost, the mainboard-listed firm said in a regulatory filing.

SingPost said it had appointed a top-tier investment bank as a financial adviser and reached out to potential buyers globally – a move resulting in 105 interested parties.

Following the developments, the boards of directors of the US companies have set up board special committees comprising only independent directors to seek additional liquidity. If that is not possible, they will explore options such as restructuring – including filing for bankruptcy.

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With this, both companies have filed for voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy code for the district of Nevada.

"Under the supervision of the bankruptcy court, the US subsidiaries intend to pursue the sale of all or substantially all of their assets," the filing added.

SingPost said it is expecting to incur professional and administrative fees during the process for the proceedings. It will also no longer include TradeGlobal and Jagged Peak in its financial reporting.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2019, the unaudited consolidated loss arising from the US subsidiaries was around S$6.9 million.

In April, SingPost shares leapt when the market opened after the mail firm disclosed overnight that it decided to sell off the struggling US units. The counter rose to S$1.06 – then a level which was not seen since October 2018.

Market watchers noted at the time that dropping the US units could lift the group’s earnings by about 30 per cent based on figures for the nine months to Dec 31, 2018.

SingPost, which counts Singtel as a major stakeholder, bought majority stakes in US e-commerce companies TradeGlobal Holdings Inc and Jagged Peak for about US$184 million in 2015.

According to its 2018/2019 annual report, SingPost recorded a total impairment of S$98.7 million on the carrying value of TradeGlobal and Jagged Peak. 

Jagged Peak provides software and services to help businesses to improve profitability across multiple channels. This includes platforms that can be integrated with warehouse or transport management systems. 

TradeGlobal operates in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle sectors, providing website development, logistics, digital marketing strategies, creative services and order management.

SingPost shares closed on Wednesday at S$0.93, down 0.5 Singapore cent or 0.5 per cent.