December 23, 2019 / 2:44 PM / a month ago

French marine services group Bourbon taken over by creditor banks

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - French marine services group Bourbon Corporation (GPBN.PA), which has been in a court restructuring process after its business was hit by volatile energy markets, said its assets would be taken over by its creditor banks.

Bourbon said the Marseille commercial court had ruled that Bourbon’s assets would be transferred to Société Phocéenne de Participations (SPP) from Jan. 2, 2020.

SPP is owned by BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel Alpes Provence, Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Paris et d’Ile de France, Crédit Mutuel Equity SCR, Crédit Lyonnais (CRLPp.PA), Natixis and Société Générale (SOGN.PA).

Bourbon - which employs 8,200 staff of which 1,392 are in France - has been hurt by market overcapacity and a fall in spending on services by upstream oil and gas companies.

At a Dec. 10 hearing, the court had rejected all other takeover bids and selected SPP. The banks that own SPP together hold about 75% of the Bourbon’s debt.

SPP’s offer proposes to acquire 100% of the assets of Bourbon Corporation and to convert into equity capital a total of 1.7 billion euros worth of debt and liabilities.

The operation will lead to the liquidation of the company and a total loss for its shareholders and bondholders, the company said earlier.

Bourbon’s banking debts stood at 2.4 billion euros as of the middle of March.

Reporting by Marc Leras in Marseille and Tangi Salaün in Paris; Writing by GV De Clercq. Editing by Jane Merriman

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