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Bankrupt Swissco sells off five offshore vessels

The judicial managers of bankrupt Swissco Holdings have arranged the disposal of five vessels of the OSV firm for the purpose of repaying debts and reducing asset liabilities.

Singapore’s Swissco has disposed of five vessels, namely Swissco Venus, Selat Goodman, Selat Topman, Selat Hope and Swissco Opal.

Based on the aggregate net book value of the five vessels as at 30 September 2016 of approximately $15.7m and sale proceeds of $11.2m, Swissco is expected to incur a loss on disposal of around $4.5m.

“The judicial managers are of the view that such disposals will help to reduce the group’s liabilities in view of the net cash inflow therefrom,” Swissco said.

The company added that the move is “a more advantageous realisation of the group’s assets than would be effected by a winding up” and can help with the survival of the group as a going concern.

Swissco revealed that one of the ships, the 2013-built accommodation workboat Swissco Venus, had not been under charter and was maintained at the group’s shipyard premises with no crew or operational systems running.

The unnamed purchaser of Swissco Venus is in the business of owning and operating offshore and special purpose vessels.

The other four vessels – accommodation workboats Selat Goodman (1992-built) and Selat Topman (1992-built), and anchor handling tugs Selat Hope (2003-built) and Swissco Opal (2013-built) – are all on bareboat charter to Selat until 31 December 2018.

Selat, a UAE-based company in the business of shipowning, chartering and brokering, has exercised its option to acquire the four vessels under the terms of the bareboat charter.

In its heyday, Swissco was a considerable OSV player with a fleet of close to 40 vessels including utility tugs, anchor handling tugs, accommodation workboats, crewboats and deck cargo barges.

In April 2017, a Singapore court approved the application made by Swissco to be placed under judicial management after the debt-ridden company failed to receive support from its major creditors.

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