Singapore: Ezra Holdings group ceo and managing director Lionel Lee has stepped down from his role on the board of two Ezra companies, EMAS Offshore and Triyards Holdings.
The two firms made the announcements after close of business on Thursday evening, before the long weekend in Singapore, in what may be seen as negative news by shareholders.
Lee has been on the board of EMAS Offshore since 2007, and his resignation from the position of director and the vice-chairman is effective May 1, 2015. No reason was give for his resignation. Lee’s father, and Ezra Holdings founder Lee Kian Soo, remains the executive chairman of the Oslo and Singapore listed offshore vessel operator.
Lee’s resignation from the role of chairman and non-executive director of offshore fabricator Triyards Holdings, according to the announcement, is part of a “move by the group to have a board comprising a majority of non-executive and independent directors.” Lee’s father, Lee Kian Soo, was announced as his replacement, appointed as non-executive chairman. Chan Eng Yew and Andrew Mak Yeuw Wah also stepped down from the board, but remain in their roles as ceo and coo respectively.
“We are at the cusp of change in the industry, and I am confident that we can drive the business to greater heights. We continue to strive to improve margins and shareholder value, and remain focused on enhancing our leading position as a global premier liftboat and high speed aluminium craft engineering specialist in Asia,” said Lee Kian Soo, commenting on the changes.
Investors may see the move as an early warning sign of trouble at Ezra, which is highly leveraged compared to many in the sector and may find it difficult to weather the storm created by much lower oil prices. In a report earlier this year OCBC noted that Ezra’s debt maturity profile remained front-loaded, and its cash balance of $178.9m insufficient to cover short-term debt of $510m.