Ezra hit by statutory demand for payment of $4.4m

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

SINGAPORE - Ezra Holdings' woes continue to pile up with the Singapore-listed oil services group reporting on Tuesday morning (Feb 7) that it had received a statutory demand for payment of 25.5 million Norwegian krone (S$4.4 million).

The solicitors of Forland Subsea, who issued the demand on Monday, stated that if payment is not secured or compounded to the reasonable satisfaction of Forland within three weeks, they will apply for the company to be wound up by the High Court of Singapore.

They said that the sum is due and owing by Ezra as the parent corporate guarantor for the charterparty dated Dec 4, 2012, wherein Forland agreed to charter the vessel "Lewek Inspector" to Emas-AMC AS. Emas-AMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Emas Chiyoda Subsea, which is 40 per cent-owned by Ezra.

Ezra said in the filing with the Singapore Exchange that it is currently seeking advice on the statutory deamnd.

On Monday, Ezra's shares plunged to an all-time low as investors bailed out of the company on fears its huge debts may send it into liquidation.

The firm faces what is called a "going concern" issue, given that it may not be able to restructure its businesses and balance sheet in time. Its net current liability position for the financial year ended Aug 31, 2016, was US$887.2 million.

Ezra also disclosed last Friday that it may have to take a US$170 million (S$240 million) write-down from its investments and loans to the troubled joint venture Emas Chiyoda Subsea.