Swissco owed UOB $238 million: Filings

Oil rig by Swissco Holdings, Singapore-listed rig and vessel chartering group.
Oil rig by Swissco Holdings, Singapore-listed rig and vessel chartering group.PHOTO: SWISSCO HOLDINGS LIMITED

Group seeks breathing space, chance to improve liquidity for rehabilitation plan

United Overseas Bank (UOB) is owed US$167.1 million (S$238 million) by Swissco Holdings and its joint ventures, making it the embattled firm's largest creditor, according to court filings seen by the Straits Times.

The filings were part of the application for court-supervised management made by the rig and vessel chartering group on Monday.

It is the third Singapore-listed oil services firm to opt for judicial management in recent months.

Swissco became insolvent last week after its main lenders rejected its debt restructuring plans.

The group is now asking for more breathing space and a chance to improve its liquidity in the hope that creditors can then agree to a rehabilitation plan by way of a compromise or scheme of arrangement.

The list of debtors shows that as at June 30 and after additional drawdowns in July and August, the Swissco group owed about US$273.4 million to seven financial institutions - Caterpillar Financial Services Asia, CIMB Bank, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, RHB Bank and UOB.

The list of debtors shows that as at June 30 and after additional drawdowns in July and August, the Swissco group owed about US$273.4 million to seven financial institutions.

DBS, the second largest lender to Swissco, is owed US$68.3 million, of which all but US$1.5 million is secured over certain offshore support vessels and accommodation rigs.

Apart from an unsecured loan of US$10 million, UOB has charges over certain offshore support vessels, property assets and drilling rigs. UOB declined to comment on its exposure to Swissco.

Swissco had said last month that 24 of its 35 offshore support vessels are tied to bank loans.

The value of 23 of these vessels is enough to cover the loan amounts, but one of them can only be sold for less than the loan value, it said then.

Swissco said that it ran into headwinds in the second half of last year, after oil prices plunged from more than US$110 a barrel in June 2014 to a low of less than US$40 last December. This resulted in cutbacks in offshore activity.

The firm also faces a barrage of claims from trade creditors and has defaulted on $100 million worth of bonds.

The interim judicial management applications will be heard at 10am tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'UOB is Swissco's largest creditor with $238m debt'. Print Edition | Subscribe