SINGAPORE (Apr 16): Richard Elman, founder and largest shareholder of Noble Group, is pushing the embattled commodities trader’s creditors for a new restructuring deal, according to people familiar with the matter, casting fresh doubt on the survival of the company.

Noble needs the support of at least half of the shareholders that vote in a special meeting for a US$3.5 billion ($4.6 billion) debt-for-equity restructuring plan that will all but wipe out existing equity investors. If shareholders reject the deal, the company plans to file for insolvency in London.

Elman, who resigned from the board last month because of “differences of opinion” with the firm’s directors and creditors over its future, is pushing to increase the stake that current shareholders get in Noble immediately after the restructuring to 15% to 20%, from 10% under the current deal, the people said, asking not to be named discussing private conversations.

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