Distressed Noble Group confirms lenders agree to extend credit facility deadline

Key Points
  • Commodity group Noble confirmed its lenders had agreed to push back a repayment deadline by 120 days
  • Company continues to be in talks with potential investors to sell an interest or parts of its business
  • Noble also in talks with bankers over a revolving credit facility due May 2018
Noble Group
Nicky Loh | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Noble Group confirmed on Tuesday that its lenders had agreed to push back a repayment deadline by four months and said it continued to be in talks with potential investors about the sale of an interest in the company or parts of its business.

The Singapore-listed firm also said it had deferred payment of the coupon on its $400 million perpetual securities due on June 26.

The company had persuaded banks to extend the $2 billion credit line, due to be rolled over by the end of this week, but it was asked to find a strategic investor, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The company on Tuesday said it was also continuing talks with its bankers in relation to its revolving credit facility due May 2018. Its major bankers, based in Europe, the United States and Asia, have hired legal and financial advisers to enhance these discussions, Noble said in its statement.

"Whilst no assurance can be given as to the outcome of these discussions, the group believes that these are constructive and are being conducted in good faith by all parties," it added.

Noble said it expected to complete its previously announced strategic review once the discussions with the banks and with potential investors became clearer.

"The results of this review are likely to include an asset realisation programme to maintain liquidity and a further reduction in overhead expenses," it said.

Noble has struggled since Iceberg Research questioned its accounts in early 2015 amid a brutal downturn in commodity markets. The company, which has stood by its accounts, has been trying to meet its debt obligations and has been forced to cut the scale of its operations.

Its shares closed up about 46 percent on Monday. On Tuesday early trade, Noble shares were down 4 percent.