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Titan rises from the dead, resumes trading with new stakeholders

Titan rises from the dead, resumes trading with new stakeholders
The almost six-year ordeal of beleaguered oil trading firm Titan Petrochemicals has finally come to an end with the company finally announcing it has successfully restructured the company and its debts, had its winding up petition withdrawn and reached a agreement with the Hong Kong Exchange for its shares to start trading again.

After protracted negotiations, Guangdong Zhenrong Energy (GZE), a unit of Chinese state-owned commodities trader Zhuhai Zhenrong is now the majority shareholder holding, along with parties in concert with it, a cumulative 66.5% stake.

Debt holders accepted a shares-for-debt deal and now  have a 6.5% stake while Shanghai-based fund manager Chang Xin Asset Management owns 8.5%.

Withdrawal of the petition, completion of various debt restructuring agreements, various shares subscription deals and an internal control review indicating no material deficiency have been completed, thus meeting requirements for the reinstatement, Titan said in a stock market announcement.

On completion of this exercise, Titan said it would reactivate the shipbuilding and repair business at its mothballed yard in Quanzhou, Fujian, and expand into offshore and marine engineering services. Titan has also signed a cooperation agreement with Singapore's Keppel Corp in which the world's leading rig builder has agreed to send managers to help run Titan's shipyard.

Titan's Quanzhou yard had hoped to latch on to the oil and gas boom at the time six years ago, with the construction, repair, conversion and upgrading of oil rigs and offshore support vessels.The current market environment however is vastly different.

The company also announced that it has appointed Liu Li Ming as an executive director. Liu is a senior engineer enjoying government special subsidy from China's State Council and has over 50 years experience in offshore oil exploration and development, including the design, manufacturing and installing of offshore oil drilling rigs, and the design, design review, supervision and management of offshore oilfield development project, Titan said. He is also well-connected within the Chinese oil and gas establishment, having previously held senior positions at China Offshore Oil Development & Engineering Corp (CODEC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC)

Titan, originally a fuel-trading and logistics firm, expanded aggressively by buying tankers, building fuel storage tank farms and a shipyard, after selling $400m of high-yield bonds in 2005. It ran into trouble when the financial markets tanked post-2008.