Rickmers bound for bond showdown

Singapore-listed containership lessor says deal to restructure bond is the best it can realistically do.

Rickmers Maritime Trust (RMT) will meet bondholders on 9 November in a bid to secure approval to restructure a SGD 100m ($73.5m) bond due to mature in May 2017.

It wants to redeem SGD 60m of the bonds with new shares, extend the maturity of the remaining SGD 40m to November 2023 and amend the interest payable on the bonds.

“The container shipping market is going through the most pronounced cyclical downturn ever, severely affecting us and preventing us from fully meeting our contractual obligations to our bondholders,” said Soeren Andersen, chief executive of RMT’s trustee manager.

“We have explored various avenues, including continued negotiations with our senior lenders, to improve the terms to bondholders, but were unsuccessful.

“The obligation to consider the ranking of senior lenders’ security interests is a significant constraint. We have made every effort to incorporate bondholders’ suggestions within our capacity.

“These include a potentially more substantial debt-to-equity swap, as well as an upfront cash payment, which may be insignificant when compared to the face value of the medium term notes, but is what we can realistically make.”

Separately, Rickmers Holdings has sold its 100% holding in RMT’s trustee-manager to Brick Holding International Invest GmbH, whose ultimate beneficial owner is Bertram Rickmers, the chairman of the trustee-manager.

As a result of the sale, RMT will no longer be considered as a subsidiary of Rickmers Holding AG. However, Rickmers Holding continues to hold an indirect unitholding interest of 34.19% in RMT.