ASL Marine seeks to extend maturity of notes by three years

Singapore's ASL Marine has issued a consent solicitation statement to noteholders on Thursday as the company seeks approval to extend the maturity of the notes for three years.

The notes involved a series of SGD100m 4.75% due in March 2017, a series of SGD50m 5.35% due in October 2018, which together are issued pursuant to a SGD500m multicurrency debt issuance programme.

Apart from seeking to extend the maturity date of the notes by three years, ASL Marine also seeks to introduce a call option and mandatory redemption event for the notes, amend interest rates payable, allow for a form of security to be taken, and amend certain financial covenants.

ASL Marine's call for support from noteholders came as the company faces credit tightening by financial institutions, subcontractors and suppliers, amidst the severe downturn in the offshore marine market.

The Singapore-listed firm cited difficult operating conditions in the market such as the fall in charter rates and muted demand for OSVs, tugboats and barges. The company's fleet utilisation rate has fallen to 57% as of 30 September 2016.

The ship repair and conversion business has no upcoming conversion jobs for OSVs, while the shipbuilding division has no new orders since May 2016, as well as stiff competition from other yards and costs overrun for projects.

ASL Marine pointed out that the company has raised gross proceeds of approximately SGD25.17m from rights issue, and signed a commitment letter with various lenders for a five-year club term loan facility worth SGD99.9m. The company has also done a review of clients on their profitability to assess business viability and implemented tighter working capital management.

Posted 29 December 2016

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Lee Hong Liang

Asia Correspondent