Noble sees more lenders agreeing to debt restructuring

Noble Group said more creditors backed its debt restructuring agreement, making it difficult for those who opposed the deal to try and wind up the company, after it defaulted on a US$394 million (S$518 million) bond that matured this week.

The Singapore-listed commodity trader is seeking a US$3.4 billion debt restructuring seen as critical for its survival. But the deal has been opposed by some bond holders and shareholders, including Goldilocks Investment, which has an 8.1 per cent stake in the firm.

Noble said the 2018 note holders who have not signed the restructuring support agreement (RSA) can try to take action against it. However, the board has been advised that it would be very difficult to successfully wind up the firm, the only realistic remedy available to such holders.

Creditors who have signed or acceded to the RSA constitute about 50 per cent of claims against the company in respect of its 2018 notes, 2020 notes, 2022 notes and revolving credit facility, Noble said, adding that it expects more lenders to back the restructuring.

Goldilocks filed a lawsuit with a Singapore court against the commodities trader and some of its former and current senior executives, alleging that they inflated Noble's assets.

Noble said it plans to resist any and all allegations or claims made against it.

Goldilocks said it would consider working on an improved debt restructuring plan.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2018, with the headline 'Noble sees more lenders agreeing to debt restructuring'. Print Edition | Subscribe