KrisEnergy gets green light from bond holders for debt restructuring

SINGAPORE - KrisEnergy shares jumped0.6 cent or 3 per cent to 20 cents on Friday, reaching an eight-month high after the oil and gas explorer said that its bond holders had agreed to defer payment on S$330 million worth of bonds for five years.

KrisEnergy had S$130 million 6.25 per cent notes that would have come due in 2017 and a further S$200 million 5.75 per cent notes due in 2018.

Now, it only needs to return bond holders their principal in 2022 and 2023 respectively, after more than 75 per cent of voting bond holders gave KrisEnergy the green light at meetings held early Friday, the company said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange.

The nod of approval from bond holders also means that KrisEnergy can tap on up to S$140 million preferential offering of zero coupon secured notes with detachable warrants, that major shareholder Keppel Corp has committed to subscribe to.

KrisEnergy's debt restructuring plan had been a controversial one. Among other things, some bond holders had objected that the stressed company was using them to lock in a cheap borrowing rate since they would be paid a lower interest rate than the original 6.25 per cent or 5.75 per cent even as their principal repayment got deferred.

Mr Terence Lin, assistant director of bonds and portfolio management at iFast Corp, which represented some individual investors, said: "We're obviously disappointed with the result."

"Bond holders accept it, but they want to see some structural changes to the fixed income landscape. We hope there will be a better system to make sure that issuers don't take advantage of fragmented bond holders."