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Marco Polo Marine ominously appoints KPMG to conduct business review

Marco Polo Marine could be the next offshore marine firm to send shockwaves through the Singapore market, announcing today that it has appointed KPMG as an advisor to the group to conduct an “independent business review” of the company.

The move coincides with a meeting planned with Series 001 S$50m 5.75% fixed rate noteholders which has been scheduled for next week, casting doubt on the company’s ability to honour the notes when they mature in October.

Sean Lee led Marco Polo has struggled this year, with a net loss of S$7.5m ($5.57m) posted for the first three quarters of its financial year. It has also been locked in a legal tussle with shipbuilder Sembcorp Marine after it cancelled its order for a Pacific Class 400 jack-up drilling rig at Singapore’s PPL Shipyard, which Marco Polo said was due to the yard’s “failure to comply with certain of its material contractual obligations”.

In July another Singaporean offshore vessel operator, Swiber Holdings, announced its liquidation only to later perform a u-turn putting the company into judicial management with KPMG as the manager.

Shareholders and potential investors have been advised by the company to exercise caution in trading their shares and notes.

Marco Polo Marine shares reacted to the announcement, trading down over 13% at S$0.076.

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Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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