Swiber Names John Swinden as CEO, Hopeful of Completing Ongoing Projects

Singapore's Swiber Holdings Ltd. and its Interim Judicial Managers (IJMs) appointed John F. Swinden to replace Yeo Chee Neng as the company's group president, CEO and executive director after the latter's resignation on Sept. 2.

Swinden, an industry veteran with more than 4 decades of experience in leading and growing marine offshore construction businesses, has served the firm in various senior capacities since 2011.

As Chairman to the Advisory Board of Global Business Development, he spearheaded its expansion into Latin America and oversaw a $273 million project for Mexico's Pemex – the largest gas line installed offshore for the client. He also oversaw, in his role as president director for the Group’s Indonesia joint venture, the successful completion of $725 million projects for clients such as Total, Conoco Phillips, Pertamina, Pearl Energy, Santos, and Premier Oil. In addition, he was responsible for the company’s expansion into Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean.

"The Company is confident in Mr John F. Swinden’s ability to lead the Group through the present challenging landscape for the oil and gas sector," according to the press release.

Meanwhile, to ensure continuity and a seamless transition, Yeo will continue to work closely with the company and the IJMs as an Adviser.

On Monday, Swiber said the prospects for saving the financial troubled company hinges on the support from stakeholders and its ability to complete some $1.67 billion worth of secured projects, which could in turn pave the way for a restructuring exercise that the IJMs said would lead to a better outcome for creditors than under a winding up scenario.

In a report filed Friday in the High Court, the IJMs said key stakeholders, including major suppliers, vendors and creditors, have expressed willingness to work with them to support the completion of the ongoing projects. The IJMs noted that Swiber’s key strengths are in the engineering and construction of upstream projects, and completing projects it had already won would be crucial as it would be positive for the recovery of Swiber Offshore Construction Pte Ltd. (SOC).

SOC is Swiber's main operating subsidiary, with a potential order book of around $608 million for projects which it has submitted bids. The key personnel of SOC are still intact and have the necessary experience and credentials to complete these projects.

The IJMs also disclosed that they have so far received 24 expressions of interest, including proposals from potential investors to provide equity/debt financing, asset financing and project financing.

"We are hopeful that the support of the various stakeholders for Swiber to complete ongoing projects together with our proposed restructuring plan, will help turn around the situation and lead to a better outcome for all stakeholders," Bob Yap, Head of Advisory at KPMG in Singapore.


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