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PIL seeks extra breathing space with court trip

Under pressure Pacific International Lines (PIL) has provided an update on its restructuring, heading to Singapore’s High Court yesterday to seek approval for a scheme of arrangement with creditors as it awaits further financing from a unit of the republic’s sovereign wealth fund. The scheme of arrangement – a Singaporean version of bankruptcy protection – would last for four months if the court approves it, giving PIL more time to negotiate with Heliconia Capital Management, a Temasek unit, which is in the process of rescuing the shipping line.

PIL executive chairman SS Teo told Splash today: “As we have formulated a comprehensive restructuring plan with financial lenders, advisors and Heliconia Capital Management, today’s commencement of a scheme of arrangement process is a significant milestone for PIL in the debt-reprofiling plan to ensure the company’s long-term sustainability and success. It is a natural progression and will provide our creditors, noteholders, banks, and other interested parties the assurance that their interests will be treated in a fair and transparent way.”

Teo said the scheme of arrangement also allows PIL to continue to operate smoothly without disruption.

PIL’s financial woes have seen the company sell off a long swathe of assets in the last couple of years. The company’s liner fleet has reduced in size from around 400,000 slots at the start of the year to stand at 295,108 slots today, according to data from Alphaliner.

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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