Marco Polo Marine noteholders approve proposed restructuring

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - A Singapore provider of barges and tugs for coal, steel scrap and iron ore received approval from bondholders to extend the maturity on S$50 million of notes that were due on October 18, according to the firm's filing with the Singapore Exchange.

Marco Polo Marine said that about 97.2 per cent of the total votes cast were in favour of the extraordinary resolution to restructure the 5.75 per cent fixed-rate notes. Under the terms of the restructuring, the maturity of the notes will be extended by three years and additional interest of 1.5 percent per year will be paid on the notes. Noteholders will also be granted a second-ranking mortgage over land in Batam, Indonesia, as security.

One bondholder welcomed the proposal that was voted through. "I think it's quite palatable to the bondholders knowing that the market is actually going through a difficult time," said Jeffrey Chan, who said he holds S$500,000 of Marco Polo Marine notes. He said that with the addition of the mortgage over land in Batam, bondholders have moved from being non-secured to secured creditors.

The company joins regional peers including Otto Marine Ltd., Perisai Petroleum Teknologi and AusGroup in seeking forbearance from creditors amid a slump in oil prices that have crimped spending by their customers. Energy-services provider Swiber Holdings Ltd. filed to operate under court supervision in late July after running out of cash to pay lenders and bondholders, while Keppel Corp. and Sembcorp Marine Ltd., the world's biggest builders of oil rigs, have both reported a plunge in profits.

"We are delighted to have achieved a win-win for both parties in that the restructuring of the notes maintains the principle sum of S$50 million unchanged, offers noteholders a step-up in interest for the extension for redemption, and provides security to what had hitherto been an unsecured debt," said Sean Lee, chief executive officer of Marco Polo Marine.