ENERGY & OFFSHORE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Creditors loan Noble US$100m to fund coal and gas trade

It will also work on launching a UK scheme of arrangement after getting backed by 85% of debtors.

Noble Group bagged US$100m of three-year committed trade finance facilities for its post-restructuring company, New Noble. The facilities came with a binding commitment to a consortium of investors, including perpetual bondholders Value Partners Limited and Pinpoint Asset Management.

The individual members of the consortium collectively own approximately 5% of the shares in the company and have irrevocably agreed to vote their interests in favor of the restructuring, Noble said in an announcement. The binding commitment with them is subject to the execution of final detailed documentation.

Noble chairman Paul Brough said, “The provision of additional trade lines dedicated to helping us build out our coal, liquids and LNG trade flows, together with the consortium’s full support of a consensual restructuring, represents an important further step towards allowing New Noble to return to business as usual; with a well-capitalized balance sheet and important tools of the trade in place for its future success.”

In return for providing these additional trade finance facilities, the consortium will receive US$7.5m New Asset Co Bonds, US$7.5m New Trading Co Bonds, US$10m New Trading Hold Co Bonds, and an arrangement fee of US$5m.

As a result, US$7.5m of New Asset Co Bonds that were to be issued to Existing Senior Creditors will be reallocated to the consortium, and in exchange Existing Senior Creditors will be issued an additional US$7.5m New Trading Co Bonds.

Accordingly, the total amount of New Trading Co Bonds will be increased from US$685m to US$700m, and the total amount of New Trading Hold Co Bonds will be increased from US$270m to US$280m.

Existing Perpetual Capital Securities The consortium members are also holders of the company’s US$400m Existing Perpetual Capital Securities. As agreed under the RSA, all holders will be offered to exchange their Existing Perpetual Capital Securities into US$25m of New Perpetual Capital Securities, which shall carry the right to a non-accumulative dividend of 2.5%.

Noble added that existing senior creditors representing approximately 85% of existing senior claims have now acceded to the RSA. The value threshold is “comfortably met” by the claims of the existing senior creditors that have already acceded to the RSA, and the company is now working towards the launch of a UK scheme of arrangement without further delay.

The company continues to engage in discussions with the SGX on the restructuring, it said. “A circular to shareholders containing further information on the restructuring, together with a notice of SGM, will be despatched to shareholders in due course.” 

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