Ezra files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US

 Ezra Holdings' subsea construction vessel Lewek Constellation.
Ezra Holdings' subsea construction vessel Lewek Constellation.PHOTO: EZRA HOLDINGS

SINGAPORE - Oilfield services firm Ezra Holdings has filed for bankruptcy in the United States, amid a prolonged slump in the oil and gas sector.

The company filed voluntary petitions for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, it said in a stock exchange filing on Sunday (Mar 19).

The move is intended to "optimise the scope and extent of the restructuring options available and to protect the interests of all stakeholders of the company...from hostile actions that could harm the company and its stakeholders by diminishing the group's value", the statement said.

In a separate statement, Ezra said it will hold an informal meeting with bondholders "as soon as reasonably practicable" to update them about the Chapter 11 filing.

It has also reached out to and intends to work with, the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), the company said.

Ezra has been trying to restructure and warned earlier this year that it faced a "going concern issue" if a favourable outcome is not reached.

The company earlier said it had unsecured loans of US$272 million owed to DBS Bank, US$184 million owed to OCBC and US$108 million to a Singapore affiliate of HSBC Plc.