KrisEnergy gets 3-month debt moratorium ahead of investor meeting on Tuesday evening

SINGAPORE - Upstream oil and gas firm KrisEnergy will receive three months of court protection from creditors' legal action, until Nov 14, while it restructures its debt totalling US$476.8 million, the mainboard-listed company said on Tuesday morning (Sept 10).

It will also convene an informal investor meeting organised by the Securities Investors Association (Singapore) (SIAS) on Tuesday, Sept 10, from 7pm to 9pm at MND Auditorium, for its noteholders and ordinary shareholders.

The High Court of Singapore granted the debt moratorium during a hearing on Monday, which was less than the six-month stay that KrisEnergy had sought. Keppel Corporation, a creditor and shareholder of KrisEnergy, had publicly come out to support the application and KrisEnergy's management in formulating a restructuring plan.

The application for the moratorium constituted an event of default under the company's existing debt agreements, comprising a US$200 million revolving credit facility (RCF) with DBS Bank maturing on June 30, 2020; $130 million, 4 per cent senior unsecured notes due 2022; $200 million, 4 per cent senior unsecured notes due 2023; about $139.5 million in principal amount of senior secured zero-coupon notes due 2024; a term loan from HSBC; and a term loan from Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore Branch (SCB).

On Tuesday, KrisEnergy said the debt moratorium applies to its creditors in Singapore: DBS Bank and Madison Pacific Trust (MPT), the security trustee for the RCF; Keppel Shipyard; HSBC; SCB; DBS Trustee as trustee for the holders of the zero-coupon notes, and MPT, the security trustee for those notes; the holders of the zero-coupon notes; The Bank of New York Mellon, Singapore Branch as trustee for holders of the due-2022 and due-2023 notes; the holders of the due-2022 and due-2023 notes; and Rubicon Vantage International, which had sent a letter of demand in mid-August to KrisEnergy for the repayment of US$2.6 million arising from a UK court judgment.

KrisEnergy had said in August that while its restructuring is ongoing, it will temporarily stop repaying the principal as well as interest payable under the HSBC and SCB term loans, amounting to US$4.6 million due on Aug 21. The company received a letter from HSBC on Aug 21 for the acceleration of their term facility agreement.

KrisEnergy also temporarily stopped the repayment of interest under the due-2023 notes, amounting to $4.1 million due on Aug 22.

The debt moratorium also applies to foreign creditors with sufficient connection to and/or subject to Singapore's jurisdiction, including Nora Limited, the holders of the due-2022 and due-2023 notes and the holders of the zero-coupon notes.

On Aug 30, KrisEnergy said it had been actively engaging with SIAS to facilitate engagement with its stakeholder groups. The informal investor meeting on Tuesday is meant for holders of the due-2022, due-2023, and due-2024 zero-coupon notes, as well as KrisEnergy's ordinary shareholders.

KrisEnergy said on Tuesday that it will submit to the Court a report on the valuation of its significant assets, together with the affidavit in support of the intended application for the valuation to be conducted on a liquidation basis.

It will also submit to the Court its periodic financial reports at the end of each financial quarter after they are announced in filings to the Singapore Exchange.

KrisEnergy advised its shareholders, noteholders and potential investors to exercise caution when dealing in its securities.

The company explores for as well as develops and produces oil and gas in Southeast Asia. It holds working interests in three producing oil and/or gas fields, two in the Gulf of Thailand and one onshore Bangladesh.

Shares of KrisEnergy have been suspended since Aug 14, when it announced its application for the debt moratorium.