PIL back on track, repays creditors ahead of schedule

Further evidence of just what a record year it has been for container shipping comes from Singapore, where one liner, which came very close to financial oblivion last year, is now coming out of its debt workout early doors.

SS Teo-led Pacific International Lines (PIL), the world’s 12th largest carrier, has announced today it will complete its $1bn debt restructuring by the end of this year.

Under intense financial pressure for a number of years, PIL was bailed out last year by Heliconia Capital Management, part of Temasek Holdings, the world’s eighth largest sovereign wealth fund, which came in with hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, allowing banks to extend their support to the carrier, which had been selling off assets rapidly to stay afloat.

“PIL will be a well-capitalised company with a solid financial structure and resilience to address and mitigate the cyclical nature of the industry going forward,” the company stated today, while detailing how it has been able to pay back creditors quicker than originally scheduled.

Teo, PIL’s executive chairman, commented: “Over the past eight months, we have experienced the most dramatic turnaround in our financial position.”

Looking ahead, PIL said in a release that it would continue to exercise financial prudence while seizing all commercially beneficial opportunities to pursue growth.

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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