Investors sought to save Swiber

Investors sought to save Swiber

Investors, roll up! That’s the message from the interim judicial managers of bust Singapore offshore player, Swiber Holdings. The three people from KPMG charged with looking after the financially troubled company, which sought judicial management two weeks ago, have issued a release in which they say: “We are open to discussions with any serious investors.”

Swiber rocked the Singapore offshore scene two weeks ago when it went into liquidation, only to change tack 24 hours later and file for judicial management.

Part of Swiber’s difficulties – banking bosses have talked about how it appears to have folded in the space of just six weeks – was from the failure of UK private equity firm AMTC to follow through with a commitment to invest $200m in the company.

No representative of AMTC has contacted the interim judicial managers since Swiber’s demise, the managers said today.

AMTC had on June 9 signed a subscription agreement with Swiber Investment Limited whereby AMTC would subscribe for 1,000 preference shares issued by SIL for a total of $200m. The deal never materialised and now Swiber is looking at legal options to pursue AMTC, the interim judicial managers said today.

Swiber’s fate is likely to be decided by October 3. Its demise has roiled many other listed firms among Singapore’s offshore community.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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