Noble to sell four vessels for about US$95m to further pare debt

The proposed disposal of the vessels is subject to approval by Noble shareholders and also by the board of directors of each of the buyers and the parent company of the buyers for the acquisition of the vessels.
The proposed disposal of the vessels is subject to approval by Noble shareholders and also by the board of directors of each of the buyers and the parent company of the buyers for the acquisition of the vessels. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A day after Iceberg Research issued another fresh attack on Noble Group, the commodity trader on Wednesday (Nov 29) announced the proposed disposal of four wholly owned Kamsarmax dry bulk carrier vessels, which it said was part of its debt reduction plans and strategic review announced in July 2017.

It expects to get proceeds of about US$95 million from the disposal, which will be payable in cash on closing. Net proceeds to the group, following repayment of bank loans associated with the vessels and other costs, will amount to about US$30 million.

The consideration is in line with the average of two valuations obtained, which stood at US$92.25 million.

Noble said: "The vessels are currently mortgaged to financial institutions and part of the proceeds from the proposed disposal will be used by Noble Group to pay down the amounts owned under such facilities."

The proposed disposal of the vessels is subject to approval by Noble shareholders and also by the board of directors of each of the buyers and the parent company of the buyers for the acquisition of the vessels.

The disposal is expected to close between March 10 and May 31 next year.

The vessels are operated as part of the group's freight business, and the disposal will not significantly impact the freight business operation, it said. This business segment services external customers, as well as the group's internal freight requirements, with ocean transport in the dry bulk segment. Additionally, the freight business provides both external and internal customers with long-term freight solutions and freight market guidance.

On Wednesday, Noble also called for a special general meeting on Dec 15 for the purpose of obtaining approval for the proposed disposal of its Americas-focused oil liquids business Noble Americas Corp.