Offshore contractor Emas Offshore could be headed for a legal tussle with Perisai Petroleum Teknologi as it tries to rid itself of a US$43- million (S$61.4-million) payment obligation from a deal made four years ago.
This comes as the collapsed Perisai is contesting claims made by Emas, which said last Thursday it plans to terminate the share sale agreement and a separate shareholders' agreement between the two parties due to "certain breaches" by Perisai.
Emas, a unit of mainboard-listed Ezra Holdings, did not elaborate on what the breaches were, either in its filing to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) or when asked about this by The Straits Times.
But last Friday, Kuala Lumpur- listed Perisai said that it disputes the claims made by Emas.
The offshore services firm told Bursa Malaysia it had sought preliminary legal advice after receiving the notification of termination from Emas on Dec 8 and had, on the same day, replied to Emas saying that it disputes the claims.
Perisai said it intends to "continue to defend and deny all allegations" behind Emas' claim for termination of the share sale agreement.
The firm added in a separate announcement it has issued a notice to exercise its put option, which was "irrevocably and unconditionally" granted to it by Emas under the agreement.
In 2012, both Emas and Perisai had entered into the share sale agreement, which gave Perisai the right to exercise a put option to sell its 51 per cent stake in subsidiary SJR Marine and a mobile offshore production unit to Emas for US$43 million. Should the share sale agreement be terminated, the put option will be extinguished.
Perisai said it intends to "continue to defend and deny all allegations" behind Emas' claim...
The firm added it has issued a notice to exercise its put option, which was "irrevocably and unconditionally" granted to it by Emas under the agreement.
The put option was originally exercisable on Nov 26. On Dec 1, Emas said it had reached an interim agreement with Perisai to defer the exercise of the put option to after the close of business on Dec 8.
Perisai has come under financial duress amid the prolonged weakness in oil prices, defaulting on a $125 million bond repayment due on Oct 3. Its unit, Perisai Capital, filed an application on Nov 25 to strike out a winding-up petition that had been filed by a bondholder hoping to recover some funds.
Shares in Emas Offshore closed one cent or 14.3 per cent lower at six cents yesterday.
Shares in Ezra Holdings - which rocketed to 5.7 cents in the late afternoon, drawing a query from the SGX - finished 1.2 cents or 27.3 per cent higher at 5.6 cents.