SINGAPORE (May 30): Creditors of Swiber Holdings and its main subsidiary, Swiber Offshore Construciton (SOC), have approved a restructuring proposal which the group says will take it one step nearer to implementing a restructuring with equity investment from Seaspan Corporation.

The news comes nearly three years after Swiber Holdings filed for insolvency.

To recap, New York Stock Exchange-listed Seaspan last year agreed to invest US$200 million ($276 million) in Swiber – subject to creditor, shareholder and regulatory approvals, among others.

In a filing on Wednesday, Swiber says its creditors have given the go-ahead for two resolutions, namely: the restructuring proposal related to the US$200 million investment from Seaspan, as well as professional fees and disbursements amounting to $4.5 million.

83% and 77% of Swiber and SOC’s creditors voted in favour of the said restructuring proposal, respectively.

As part of the restructuring plan, Swiber will also transfer various assets to a new Swiber group and restructure its current debts by issuing new Swiber shares to unsecured creditors, as well as redeemable convertible bonds to certain secured creditors.

New Swiber shares will be issued to Seaspan, Swiber’s existing shareholders, key management of the newly-formed company and professional service providers involved in the restructuring.

The group has also proposed to transfer its listing status to the new Swiber, which is envisaged to be an “innovative energy solution provider with engineering capabilities across the power, oil & gas and marine sectors”.

The new Swiber group is also expected to continue with the ongoing business of vessel chartering & engineering services, with plans to diversify into the power business, particularly the liquid natural gas (LNG) segment beginning with Vietnam.

“The mandate given by creditors today is positive news for Swiber, providing the company an opportunity to be rehabilitated with the proposed investment from Seaspan,” comments judicial manager Bob Yap, Head of Restructuring at KPMG in Singapore, on the latest development.

“While there is still much to do in the restructuring process, including obtaining shareholders’ and regulatory approvals, we believe this is a positive step towards achieving a successful restructuring,” he adds.

Shares in Swiber last closed at 10.9 cents before trading was suspended in 2016.