Marco Polo seeks court protection

Offshore owner wants shelter from lawsuits while it pursues restructuring deal.

Singapore's Marco Polo Marine is trying to take shelter from legal action as it pursues a restructuring deal.

The loss-making company said it and subsidiary Marco Polo Shipyard have each filed an application to the Singapore High Court for a moratorium to restrain suits so it can finalise a scheme of arrangement with creditors.

The applications were heard on 17 May, but adjourned to a date yet to be fixed for further submissions to be made.

The court has ordered pending legal actions, including a statutory demand, to be halted in the interim.

The company was due to meet bondholders on Thursday evening to try to win support for its proposed refinancing and debt restructuring at the second time of asking.

Bosses held an informal meeting with holders of its outstanding SGD 50m ($35.7m) bond in late April, but came away empty-handed.

The 5.75% fixed rate notes were due in 2016, but last November bondholders agreed to a three-year extension until 2019.

Earlier this month shares in Marco Polo were suspended after the company said its lenders were reluctant to accept its restructuring plans.

The company also said that it had received an “increasing number” of reservation of rights letters and demand letters, including a statutory demand, from creditors.