Troubled Singapore contractor EMAS Chiyoda Subsea filed Tuesday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, in yet another sign of the damaging impact that the oil price slump has had on the sector.
EMAS Chiyoda Subsea (ECS) is a joint-venture run by the SGX-listed Ezra Holdings (40 percent) and the Japanese listed firms Chiyoda Corporation (35 percent) and NYK (25 percent).
The voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code was filed in the Texas Bankruptcy Court.
"The restructuring will provide ECS with an opportunity to focus on strengthening its financial and operational systems, enhancing the Company's efforts to weather the current challenges," the company said in the filing.
The decision to file comes after several months of uncertainty for the joint-venture, which had been respected by industry insiders for so far weathering the challenging conditions in its space.
CNBC sources inside the group said doing business had become challenging in recent weeks, given the amplified uncertainty around its future and the tough macro environment. Other sources said they were surprised the filing didn't come sooner.
"The bigger players like SembMarine seem to have weathered the problems better, but smaller players like Swiber and Ezra are in a weaker position and more vulnerable to headwinds," said Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC.