Goldilocks working on alternative restructuring plan for Noble

Dubai-based Goldilocks Investment Company is working with other investors to devise an alternative restructuring plan for Noble Group, it said yesterday.

Goldilocks, which is Noble's third-largest investor, also called on shareholders to repopulate the Noble board in support of its initiatives.

The fund has opposed the commodity firm's restructuring plan, saying shareholders stand to lose from it.

It said in a statement yesterday: "Goldilocks and a consortium of like-minded investors are prepared to provide Noble with working capital and trade finance. A specific proposal is currently being developed that will be shared with all stakeholders."

Goldilocks added that it and strategic partners are in discussions that include the review and assessment of Noble's business plan and earnings potential.

It said a repopulated board can revisit and resurrect turnaround proposals that were "made to, but ignored by" Noble chairman Paul Brough.

It could also "develop additional turnaround proposals with a view to preserving and enhancing shareholder value". It did not elaborate on the proposals.

Noble confirmed yesterday that it had received a letter from Goldilocks seeking to nominate five non-executive independent directors at the company's annual general meeting (AGM) on April 30.

Goldilocks announced on Thursday that it had lodged a rejection letter with Noble regarding the firm's board candidates up for approval at the AGM.

Instead, Goldilocks proposed its own nominees.

Noble announced in an open letter late on Wednesday that it would drop a controversial provision from its restructuring proposal that attempted to treat shareholders differently depending on their vote.

The company had originally proposed that if a majority of shareholders rejected its restructuring plan, this would lead the firm to apply to go into administration in Britain, and those who supported the plan would receive the same economic interest in the new Noble as if the resolution had been carried.

Noble ditched the idea after objections from the Singapore Exchange Regulation.

Noble shares closed down 0.3 cent, or 2.8 per cent, to 10.5 cents yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2018, with the headline 'Goldilocks working on alternative restructuring plan for Noble'. Print Edition | Subscribe