Singapore's Troubled Swiber Holdings Opts for Judicial Management

Swiber Holdings Limited announced Friday that the financially troubled Singapore-based offshore construction and support services provider to the upstream oil and gas industry would file applications to be placed under judicial management instead of liquidation, a move that would reverse the company's July 27 appointment of KordaMentha Pte Ltd as Provisional Liquadators.

"On July 28, the Board of Directors and the Provisional Liquidators have had discussions with the Company’s major financial creditor who indicated that they are supportive of an application for the Company to place itself into judicial management instead of liquidation," Cameron Lindsay Duncan of KordaMentha said in the statement.

"Today, the Company and its subsidiary, Swiber Offshore Construction Pte Ltd. (SOC), have taken out applications to place the Company and SOC under judicial management and interim judicial management. As a consequence, the Company has applied to discharge the provisional liquidation order and to withdraw the winding up application made on July 27," the statement added.

Industry sources told Rigzone that judicial management appears to be better solution for Swiber's current woes as it gives the firm more options in reorganizing its problems under court supervision and may provide better results for creditors and shareholders than liquidation.

Last Wednesday, Swiber announced plans to wind up the company and appointed Cameron Lindsay Duncan and Muk Siew Peng of KordaMentha Pte Ltd. as the "joint and several Provisional Liquators of the company."

Meantime, Swiber said the trio of directors -- Francis Wong, Leonard Tay and Nitish Gupta -- who resigned as directors of the company would continue to be directors of certain subsidiaries of the firm. Swiber also said Tay remains its chief financial officer (CFO), retracting an earlier statement that he had resigned from the post.

In a related development, Vallianz Holdings Ltd., an offshore support vessels and integrated marine solutions provide to the oil and gas industry, provided a company update Friday on the impact of its business relations with Swiber, who owns just over 25 percent interest in the company.

According to Vallianz, the firm had trade receivables and other receivables owing from Swiber entities amounting to approximately $61.9 million, while it had trade payables and other payables owing to Swiber entities of approximately $58.7 million as of March 31.

"While the recent developments at Swiber will have an impact to the Group’s business, the Board is of the view that the situation is manageable and its operations are continuing as usual. The Company continues to work in close consultation with its legal advisors to evaluate the impact of the developments at Swiber," Vallianz said in the press release.


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