Ezra's joint venture files for bankruptcy

SINGAPORE - Ezra Holdings' debt-laden joint venture with its Japanese partners, Emas Chiyoda Subsea, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States.

Emas Chiyoda said in a press release on Tuesday that it has filed a voluntary petition for reorganisation under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in the Southern District of Texas Bankruptcy Court.

The move - made on the same day Ezra requested for yet another trading halt on its shares, pending an announcement - is to facilitate the company's financial and operational restructuring, it said.

Court documents showed that a list of creditors with the 40 largest unsecured claims included Singapore bank DBS, with claims of around US$84.6 million (S$118.8 million), and OCBC Bank with US$13.1 million. Keppel Shipyard also had a claim for US$2.8 million.

Emas AMC, a wholly-owned unit of Emas Chiyoda, also filed for bankruptcy in Norway, according to a document seen by The Straits Times.

It showed the bankruptcy proceedings for the subsea services unit were opened at the Oslo Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday.

Ezra shares last traded at 1.9 cents on Feb 27, down 0.1 cent or 5 per cent from the previous session's close.