Technics files for judicial management

Offshore solution provider Technics Oil & Gas and a key subsidiary filed for judicial management yesterday, in a move that will hit minority shareholders hard.

The firm and its unit, Technics Offshore Engineering, announced through a filing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) that they have each applied to the High Court of Singapore for the order.

The firm also asked for a trading halt yesterday, at seven cents per share.

They have nominated Mr Chia Soo Hien and Mr Leow Quek Shiong of audit firm BDO as the judicial managers to manage their affairs, business and property.

This is necessary for "the survival of the company and the said subsidiary", said the firm, and "a more advantageous realisation" of their assets than it would be winding up.

Earlier last month, Technics Oil & Gas said Technics Offshore Engineering had received two writs of summons, from former director Ting Tiong Ching and Hup Seng Offshore Engineering.

Mr Ting is seeking the repayment of loans of about $1.933 million, and interest accrued and legal costs from the unit.

Hup Seng Offshore Engineering, a firm controlled by Mr Ting's relatives, is demanding repayment of loans of $3 million plus interest and legal costs.

Technics Oil & Gas had previously said it has been advised that its subsidiary "has a good defence", and has engaged its legal counsel to "vigorously defend the action".

The firm has been caught up in legal woes recently. Last week, it was reported that landlord Soilbuild Reit called on an $11.8 million bank guarantee - about 18 months' rent for the second-year lease of Technics Oil & Gas' premises at 72, Loyang Way - and it failed to restrain the call.

The firm had also filed a writ of summons and injunction against the Reit, after legal action claiming rent and other charges, plus late interest payment up to May.

Last Friday, shares of Technics Oil & Gas slumped 17.6 per cent to seven cents, and earlier plunged to 5.8 cents in morning trade, which triggered a trading query from the SGX.

The firm replied that it was not aware of any other possible explanation for the trading.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Technics files for judicial management'. Print Edition | Subscribe