March 28, 2018 / 12:47 AM / a year ago

Noble Group woos more creditors in restructuring plan

FILE PHOTO - The company logo of Noble Group is seen at its headquarters in Hong Kong March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Noble Group Ltd (NOBG.SI) said on Wednesday that creditors holding the majority of its senior debt now accept its $3.4 billion restructuring plan.

The beleaguered commodity trader said support for the deal, seen as critical for the firm’s survival, has risen to 55 percent from 46 percent on March 14.

The proposed restructuring agreement requires approval by a majority of existing senior creditors representing 75 percent in value of its debt.

The firm said in a statement it is making “solid progress” towards the deal and would extend the deadline for subscriptions to April 11.

Noble warned on Monday that it would begin insolvency proceedings if the debt restructuring, which has been opposed by some bondholders and shareholders, was not approved.

Separately, Noble said on Wednesday it would not make an interest payment due Thursday on its unsecured credit facility. The company said the funds owed on the facility would be addressed in its restructuring.

Once Asia’s largest commodity trader, Hong Kong-headquartered Noble was plunged into crisis in February 2015 when Iceberg Research questioned its books. Noble has stood by its accounting.

Noble has been negotiating a debt-for-equity swap for months after selling billions of dollars of assets, reporting big losses due to a severe commodities downturn, and cutting hundreds of jobs over the past three years.

Reporting by John Geddie; editing by Richard Pullin

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