Noble Group said it has completed its emergency $3.5bn debt-for-equity restructuring by keeping the company private, a move seen as a potential blow to investors.
The company, formerly listed in Singapore, said on Thursday it would operate under a new holding company with trade and hedging facilities of $800m.
Under the restructuring deal 20 per cent of shares in the new entity will be owned by shareholders– shares have been issued although this process is subject to the completion of an exchange offer. Seventy per cent will be owned by a senior creditor special purpose vehicle and 10 per cent by its management.
The announcement comes just weeks after the company looked to be facing insolvency after Singapore said it would not be able to list shares in a new entity.
The restructuring marks something of a new chapter for the embattled commodity trader following years of calamity since early 2015 when a former employee publicly questioned the company’s accounts and its inability to turn profits into cash.
“It has been a long, and at times difficult, journey. However, throughout this journey I kept my conviction in the company’s underlying business and people, both of whom have been unbelievably resilient,” Noble chair Paul Brough said.
Still, authorities in Singapore last month launched a criminal investigation into alleged “false and misleading statements”.
Noble has always defended its accounting.
By Edward White
Image © Reuters
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