The judicial managers of offshore oil and gas group Swiber have announced a restructuring plan for the company – which includes handing over shares to its professional services providers in part-payment of fees.
Judicial managers Bob Yap Cheng Ghee, Ong Pang Thye and Tay Puay Cheng of KPMG published the plan on 7 May, urging creditors to vote in favour to avoid Swiber’s liquidation.
They have set a creditors’ meeting for 29 May, ahead of approval by the Singapore High Court.
The plan comes nearly three years after Swiber Holdings, the group’s top company, applied to place itself in voluntary liquidation in July 2016, only to withdraw the application days later and apply instead for judicial management on behalf of itself and another Swiber company, Swiber Offshore Construction (SOC).
Once valued at US$1 billion, Swiber fell victim to the 2014 oil slump and in August 2016 defaulted on coupon payments in a US$500 million multicurrency Islamic trust certificate programme. Its total debt stands at US$1.2 billion.
The Swiber plan would see an eventual US$200 million in rescue finance provided by New York-listed, Marshall Islands-incorporated containership lessor Seaspan.
That will allow Seaspan to take 80% of shares in a newly incorporated Swiber company (New Swiber) for a US$10 million initial investment, which the group may use to develop an LNG-to-power plant in Vietnam. Seaspan will later subscribe to new preference shares in Equatoriale Energy, a power division subsidiary of Swiber Holdings created in 2018, for the remaining US$190 million.