Mon, Mar 20, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Ezra files for bankruptcy amid face-off with creditors


Ezra Holdings Ltd, a Singapore-listed oil field services group, yesterday filed for bankruptcy in the US after weeks of facing hostile actions from creditors at home and abroad as it struggles to recover from a slump in oil prices over the past three years.

The firm filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, it said in a stock exchange filing.

Ezra is to hold an informal meeting as soon as “reasonably practicable” to update and provide further information on the Chapter 11 filing to holders of its debt, it said in a separate statement.

“The Ezra Chapter 11 filing is intended to optimize the scope and extent of the restructuring options available and to protect the interests of all stakeholders of the company, including its creditors and shareholders, from hostile actions that could harm the company and its stakeholders by diminishing the group’s value,” the statement said.

Ezra’s shares, down 78 percent this year, have been suspended from trading since Wednesday last week. The fallout might spread to other sectors related to the offshore and marine services company.

“Offshore and marine companies and banks would be negatively affected by this development. No one knows if they have fully provided for Ezra,” UOB Kay Hian Pte Ltd (大華繼顯) Singapore-based analyst Foo Zhiwei said by telephone after the filing was released. “There would be a knee-jerk reaction in the shares of Ezra and related sectors.”

Ezra last published its earnings in November last year, when losses widened to US$339.6 million for the quarter ended on Aug. 31, from US$7.8 million a year earlier.

It listed about US$623 million of total assets and US$1.51 billion of total liabilities.

The group has not disclosed earnings for the quarter ended on Nov. 30 last year. It has requested a time extension while it seeks to consolidate funding requirements.

The latest filing adds to the troubles faced by offshore oil and gas services companies in Singapore whose contracts have been pushed back or canceled as a slide in crude prices forced explorers to cut spending.

Swiber Holdings Ltd and Swissco Holdings Ltd won court approval to reorganize their debt, while others like Ezion Holdings Ltd and KrisEnergy Ltd sought and won forbearance from creditors and lenders.

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