Bond holder's summons dismissed by court: Ezion

Offshore and marine company Ezion Holdings said yesterday an originating summons taken out by a substantial bond holder has been dismissed by the Singapore High Court.

Mr Ravi Murarka, who owns a substantial share of the liftboat operator's tranche of $120 million bonds backed by DBS Bank, had served Ezion a redemption notice in September, citing the bond clause that he can demand to be paid back in full "in the event that the shares of the issuer cease to be listed or traded".

Mr Murarka's case was the first time a bond holder had filed a summons against a Singapore issuer to protect his rights.

He sought a court declaration that Ezion's shares had ceased to be traded on the Singapore Exchange (SGX), within the meaning of that clause, after the company suspended trading of its shares on Aug 14 this year to discuss a debt reorganisation plan with lenders. Its shares are still suspended.

In a pre-market SGX filing yesterday, Ezion said the High Court had granted the company's striking-out application at a hearing the day before.

"Accordingly, the originating summons against the company has been dismissed," said the company. It did not disclose the reasons for the judge's decision.

Last week, in a landslide vote, Ezion won bond holders' approval for its proposed refinancing of six series of notes and perpetual securities totalling $575 million. The DBS-backed bonds were not part of the restructuring.

The successful refinancing of the $575 million securities was key to unlocking a US$100 million (S$135 million) working capital line from the group's senior lenders so that Ezion can mobilise its fleet for work.

Ezion chief executive Chew Thiam Keng said last month that 70 per cent of the company's bonds are held by private banking clients. The rest are held by insurers and funds. Ezion still needs support to press on with its debt revamp from two other key stakeholder groups: bank lenders and shareholders.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Bond holder's summons dismissed by court: Ezion'. Print Edition | Subscribe