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Vote 'yes' for Swiber restructuring, say judicial managers

WITH New York-listed Seaspan Corp dangling a rescue deal for debt-racked Swiber Holdings, the offshore and marine group's creditors are headed for a vote on the restructuring on May 29.

Judicial managers are recommending that the creditors opt for the bail-out, arguing that the likely alternative would be liquidation, which could leave unsecured creditors with nothing.

The creditors' meeting has been scheduled for May 29 at Harvest Care Centre in Sims Avenue, just two days before a court deadline, the judicial managers announced on Tuesday night.

More than 1,200 creditors, including bondholders via their trustees, can vote on the deal.

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"Creditors may wish to note that the restructuring proposal does not require creditors to vote on any write-off or compromise of their debts at this stage," the judicial managers - who are also overseeing subsidiary Swiber Offshore Construction - said in their statement of proposals.

The restructuring plan offers unsecured creditors new Swiber shares worth a 14 per cent stake, which could be diluted to 12.6 per cent.Swiber's unsecured creditors could see a recovery rate of between 8.8 per cent and 10 per cent, while unsecured creditors of Swiber Offshore Construction might get 1 per cent to 1.2 per cent back, based on the equity value of the restructured group in five years as estimated by accountancy firm BDO.

Under a plan floated in March, container ship company Seaspan could plough up to US$200 million into Swiber - which notoriously defaulted on bond payments from 2016 - in exchange for an 80 per cent stake in a new holding company for assets including five vessels.

Swiber has been under judicial management for two-and-a-half years, after it scuppered an earlier decision to ask to be wound up.

Trading in Swiber shares has been suspended since 2016.