Bondholders approve extension of ASL Marine's notes

SINGAPORE - Shipbuilder and vessel charterer ASL Marine Holdings announced on Friday that it has obtained approval from its bondholders to extend the maturity dates of two notes worth a total of S$150 million .

One is a S$100 million issue due in March this year, with a coupon rate of 4.75 per cent per year, while the other is S$50 million worth of notes due in October 2018.

This means the maturity dates of the two bond issues will each be extended for three years - to March 2020 and October 2021 respectively.

In exchange, ASL Marine has said it will pay a higher coupon of 5.5 per cent for the one-year period until March 2018 for the first note issue, with a coupon step-up of 0.5 per cent.

It will pay a coupon rate of 5.85 per cent for the second note issue for the one-year period, also with the same annual 0.5 per cent coupon step-up thereafter.

In addition, the company will redeem 2.5 per cent of the notes' principal sums every six months.

Having obtained bondholders' approval to restructure the notes means ASL Marine has fulfilled a major condition for it to access a five-year club term loan facility of up to S$99.9 million from a group of local banks.This comes after ASL Marine successfully raised S$25.2 million in a rights issue in December last year.

"The approval of noteholders was vital for us to materialise the financial restructuring plan in such a difficult market," said Mr Ang Kok Tian, who is chairman, managing director and chief executive of ASL Marine.

"The increased financial resources and flexibility will assist to help us keep the business going, preserve ASL Marine's valuable assets and expertise, and seize opportunities when the market turns around. With careful cost management and continued dedication in business operation, ASL Marine hopes to weather through the market volatilities and will strive to eventually come out stronger and return more value to our stakeholders."

The stock closed flat at 15.2 cents on Friday, before the announcement was made.