* Sinar Mas to acquire Berau Coal as part of deal to purchase ARMS
* Singapore Court gives Berau until Jan 4 to talk with bondholders
* S&P cut Berau to ‘selective default’ after $450 mln bond default (Adds comment from Sinar Mas executive, background)
JAKARTA, July 14 (Reuters) - Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas Group said it is in talks with bondholders to restructure $950 million worth of debt held by PT Berau Coal Energy Tbk , a coal miner it is in the process of acquiring.
Last week, a Singapore court imposed a moratorium on debt issued by a unit of Berau, giving it until Jan. 4 to negotiate with bondholders. Standard & Poor’s then cut its corporate credit rating on Berau to ‘selective default’, saying the company had defaulted on a $450 million bond due July 8.
“Issuing new debt is an option for restructuring,” Sinar Mas executive Fuganto Widjaja told Reuters. He declined to give further details.
Sinar Mas is set to gain control of London-listed Asia Resource Minerals Plc (ARMS) and its unit Berau after British financier Nathaniel Rothschild agreed to sell his stake in ARMS last month.
Berau also has a $500 million bond maturing in 2017. (Reporting by Eveline Danubrata and Cindy Silviana; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)