BLT overhaul drags on

Berlian Laju Tanker (BLT) is unlikely to complete its financial restructuring by the end of this year, one of the ailing Indonesian operator's executives said Tuesday.

According to an email penned by Jack Noonan, the chief of US offshoot Chembulk Tankers, the Central Court of Jakarta has signed off an order that delayed an earlier deadline by 50 days.

Now, creditors are scheduled to vote on BLT’s proposed restructuring plan during a hearing on 2 January 2013 unless another extension is granted.

Last week, 98% of those with claims connected to the so-called 'postponement of the debt payment' proceedings, a process known locally as Penundaan Kewajiban Pembayaran Utang or PKPU, were in favour of delaying the vote, Noonan said.

At the time, BLT asked the court to stretch the debt standstill agreement by another two months. Some creditors requested a 75 day continuance while others sought a far shorter term, in some cases,  two weeks less than what the debtor was hoping for, observers said.

“As evidenced by the vote for the extension by BLT’s creditors, the vast majority believe that BLT is heading in the right direction but need more time to finalise and explore the plan,” Noonan told clients in a message emailed to counterparties on 12 November.

Today the Connecticut-based executive declined to elaborate on whether he believes the successful completion of an Indonesian restructuring agreement is imminent but thanked counterparties for their ongoing support and wished them a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’.

While Noonan claims the extension illustrates that the PKPU proceedings are heading in the right direction, others believe the delays show that creditors need more time to come up with an alternative plan of their own.