Sembcorp Marine has defended its decision to undertake a heavily discounted rights issue after criticism from a local investor lobby group.

The struggling shipyard group plans to issue SGD1.5bn ($1.1bn) worth of new shares in a fundraiser backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and the city state’s largest bank, DBS.

“These are unprecedented times for Sembcorp Marine in its close to 60-year track record,” the company said in a regulatory filing.