Rickmers Maritime suspends trading

Trading of shares in Rickmers Maritime will be halted today after the shipping trust yesterday asked for a suspension as it is unable to demonstrate that it can continue as a going concern.

Its manager, Rickmers Trust Management, said in a statement that it wants trading suspended until the issue over the firm's ongoing health is resolved.

It cited "the uncertain outcome of the discussions with senior lenders and the adjourned note holders' meeting" as factors in the decision.

Rickmers also said it missed a $4.26 million interest payment to bond holders yesterday.

Failure to make this payment is deemed an "event of default", which will trigger cross-default and cross-acceleration clauses in other loan agreements.

Rickmers Trust Management added that it is in discussions with its senior lenders to obtain standstills and/or waivers in respect of its obligations under the existing senior loan facilities.

The statement came a day after Swissco Holdings, a debt-ridden rig and vessel charterer, said it would put itself under interim judicial management as it can no longer continue as a going concern. Bank lenders have also rejected its debt restructuring plans.

Rickmers has managed to secure bank lenders' support, but is struggling to get note holders to agree to a swap of its $100 million outstanding notes due next May for $40 million worth of notes due in November 2023 and new units in the trust. Note holders have cited "bad faith" and a refusal to be "bulldozed".

Rickmers will convene a note holders' meeting between Nov 23 and Dec 21 instead to try to reach a decision.

The counter closed unchanged at 2.6 cents yesterday.

Marissa Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2016, with the headline 'Rickmers Maritime suspends trading'. Print Edition | Subscribe