Swiber's interim managers plan asset sales in revival proposal

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Swiber Holdings should be able to raise about US$284 million (S$384.5 million) of working capital to sustain its operations, including through asset sales, according to a report submitted by the interim judicial managers of the beleaguered offshore oil and gas services group.

Swiber could generate US$209.9 million from the sale of vessels and property, US$64 million from settlement and receivables from arbitration proceedings and US$10.1 million from insurance claims, according to the report, which was submitted to the Singapore high court earlier this month. The working capital could be raised within about 12 months, said the Sept. 2 report, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

More cash may still be raised from the sale of non-core assets and receivables from "a significant debtor," it added, without naming the debtor.

KPMG, appointed by the court as interim judicial managers last month, have indicated a "reasonable prospect" of saving the Singapore company from liquidation as about 24 unidentified investors have expressed interest in financing Swiber's debt and projects. The company intends to restructure about US$143 million due to its trade suppliers and contractors to reverse its cash outflow, according to the report.

Swiber roiled Singapore's bond market when it defaulted on its local-currency notes last month, becoming the third entity to renege on payments since November 2015, after efforts to raise money from a London-based private equity firm collapsed. A liquidation outcome would leave unsecured creditors with recovery of as little as 2 cents on the US dollar, the managers said in the report.

Swiber named John F. Swinden as chief executive officer over the weekend to replace Yeo Chee Neng, who resigned on Sept. 2, according to a filing with the Singapore stock exchange. Yeo will continue as an adviser and will work closely with the Swiber group and its interim judicial managers, according to the filing.