April 19, 2018 / 4:16 AM / 3 months ago

Noble Group amends restructuring plan as it races to get shareholder support

SINGAPORE, April 19 (Reuters) - Embattled Noble Group said it will drop a provision in its $3.4 billion debt restructuring proposal that placed restrictions on shareholders voting against the plan after criticism from the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Singapore-listed Noble’s debt-for-equity swap, which is crucial for its survival, has already won the backing of over 83 percent of holders of its senior debt, but it also needs a majority of its shareholders to approve the restructuring.

The beleaguered commodity trader has warned it will start insolvency proceedings if the restructuring was not approved.

It had also said that shareholders who do not vote in favour of the proposal would not receive shares in the restructured company, prompting Singapore Exchange’s regulatory arm to call for “parity in the treatment of all shareholders”.

Noble will amend the proposal to drop the provision “so as to enable shareholder freedom of choice in voting on the restructuring”, Chairman Paul Brough said in a letter addressed to shareholders and sent to SGX late on Wednesday.

The exchange had said shareholders should be able to vote freely and their vote should not have a bearing on whether they are entitled to shares in the new Noble. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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