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Rickmers Maritime investors hit back with further legal action

Rickmers Trust Management, the trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime, is facing legal action from investors who want to force the ailing company to repay their investment plus interest with immediate effect.

The move by investors follows a September action where law firm Rajah & Tann served Rickmers with a “notice of acceleration” claiming to be acting for more than 25% of holders of its S$100m 8.45% notes due in May 2017. The notice demanded full repayment of the notes with interest due to breach of contract, claiming default as specified in “Condition 9” of the terms and conditions had occurred when the company admitted it is unable to repay the interest and principal on the notes.

Rickmers has put forward an improved restructuring proposal, but has yet to address the initial letter of demand, saying that it has yet to receive notice from the notes trustee, DB International Trust, that the notes are immediately due and payable.

Now the noteholders involved have served Rickmers with a letter to “directly take such legal steps and actions against the trust to enforce repayment of the notes, together with accrued interest” on the basis that DB International Trust has “failed to institute any action against the issuer” in regards to the initial letter of demand in September. Rickmers claims however that the investor letter of demand does not provide any evidence that DB International Limited has become bound to give such notice, or that it has failed to do so within a reasonable period.

Rickmers says it is “in the process of validating the contents of the letter” and in the meantime it is just a couple of weeks away from an extraordinary general meeting where noteholders will vote on a new improved refinancing offer or alternate vote to liquidate the company.

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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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