AsiaOffshore

Legal spats proliferate for Swissco

Swissco Holdings, which entered interim judicial management earlier this week, has seen claims against it mount. Fellow Singapore offshore operator Ezion Holdings has sought just over $500,000 in corporate guarantees it says it is owed relating to various rig joint ventures Ezion is in with Swissco rig subsidiary Scott and English Energy (S&E). Ezion has threatened to take Swissco to court unless if pays up within three weeks.

However, Swissco said in a release it believes the corporate guarantees are not due now. Moreover, S&E has counterclaims against Ezion.

Other legal problems are also surfacing for troubled Swissco. Certain unspecified holders of redeemable exchangeable preference shares in two of its group companies, S&E Offshore Investments and S&E Offshore Investments 2 claim that there has been a breach of the joint venture agreements arising from the group’s decision to scrap certain rigs as well as disputes and legal proceedings commenced by X-Drill Holdings over other rig disputes.

Swissco was an OSV operator prior to making an ill-timed move in 2014 into the rig sector with the acquisition of S&E just ahead of oil prices nosediving.

It joins another Singapore outfit, Swiber Holdings, in judicial management with speculation growing among local investors that other highly leveraged offshore firms will follow suit soon.

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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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