Commodities trading firm Noble Group has received time extensions for its US$3.5 billion restructuring plan with the consent from major creditors and has pushed back the restructuring completion date from November 27 to December 11 of this year.
The dates under the English and Bermuda schemes of arrangement have also been extended to the new date. The schemes of arrangement in agreement with Noble and its creditors showed that the furthest the dates can be pushed back is until the end of this year, on December 31.
Noble said in the statement the board remains with a “strong view” that the restructuring is in the best interests of all of the company’s stakeholders, including its creditors and shareholders.
It added to say that the company has made good progress towards the completion of the restructuring but due to the additional time required to fully address all concerns of the regulators in the recent probe, the extension was made. The extension was also made to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders continue to be protected, it said.
False statements probe on Noble
Last week, authorities in Singapore sent letters to Noble Group on a probe suspecting the commodities trader giving suspected false and misleading statements, and breaches of disclosure requirements under the Securities and Futures Act.
The authorities said Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) made findings of a suspected breach of the Companies Act from Noble’s subsidiary Noble Resources International, after an “extensive review” of the firm’s financial statements for the financial year period December 31, 2012 to December 31, 2016.
In the latest statement which provided the update of the restructuring timeline extension, Noble referred to the joint investigation announcement, and said that the company is “continuing to fully and constructively cooperate with the authorities in their investigation.” The company is in the process of gathering and collating the information requested by the authorities and is also in the process of appointing experts to assist in responding to the technical accounting issues raised by ACRA, it added.
An independent director at Noble, Mr David Yeow has resigned following the probe, saying that he has “contributed all he usefully could” in relation to the restructuring of Noble.
Noble has already suspended the trading of its shares on the Singapore Exchange, pending its restructuring transition. The group has plans to reform and list as a restructured group by its given deadline.