Noble Group shares soar 36% on US$100m financing deal

Noble Group shares soar 36% on US$100m financing deal

SINGAPORE: Shares in Noble Group surged 36 per cent on Friday (Jun 22) after the embattled commodities trader secured US$100 million in trade finance facilities from a group of investors, winning fresh support for a US$3.4 billion debt restructuring plan that is key to its survival.

In a regulatory statement, Noble, once Asia's largest commodity trader, said a consortium of investors, which includes perpetual security holders Value Partners and Pinpoint Asset Management, will provide the three-year financing. The consortium, which owns about 5 per cent of Noble stock, has agreed to back the restructuring.

Noble's shares rose as much as 43 per cent to S$0.149 before giving back some to close the day up 36 per cent at S$0.141.

The stock has nearly tripled in value this week after it won over a key shareholder for the debt restructuring with a sweetened equity offer.

The firm's market value has plunged to little more than US$130 million from more than US$11 billion at its peak in 2011. The company has sold billions of dollars of assets, taken hefty writedowns and cut hundreds of jobs over the past three years to slash debt.

The additional funding capacity would allow more flexibility for Noble to expand its trade flows, particularly in high-growth opportunities in liquefied natural gas, Noble said on Friday.

Noble, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and listed in Singapore, also said more than 85 per cent of its senior creditors supported the debt plan.

Source: Reuters/aj