Noble completes $4.8 billion restructuring as smaller firm, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Noble completes $4.8 billion restructuring as smaller firm

This article is more than 12 months old

Embattled commodities trader Noble Group has completed a US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion) restructuring, it said yesterday, as the company seeks to draw a line under a long-running crisis that pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.

Noble was plunged into turmoil after allegations of irregular accounting practices.

It has sold off billions of dollars worth of assets while battling creditors and shareholders, and the Singapore authorities launched a probe into the firm last month over suspected false financial statements.

After a long process that was almost derailed by the Singapore investigation, the company announced it had finally wrapped up its restructure.

"Today's announcement marks a significant milestone for the company," said chairman Paul Brough in a statement. "It has been a long, and at times difficult, journey."

As part of the plan, the company's assets have been placed in a new holding company.

Creditors own 70 per cent of the shares in the new entity, while shareholders get 20 per cent and management 10 per cent. Noble shares used to trade on the Singapore stock exchange but have been suspended since last month's investigation.

Regulators have blocked the restructured Noble's relisting due to ongoing concerns about its finances.

Singapore's moves against the company forced Noble to shift its planned overhaul to Bermuda, where it went through a kind of insolvency process. The company is now a far smaller, Asia-focused entity that will mainly concentrate on trading coal. - AFP