Banks take over struggling French vessel owner Bourbon

A French court has decided that assets of struggling French vessel owner Bourbon Corporation, which has been in a court restructuring process, will be sold to a group of creditor banks. 

Source: Bourbon

As part of the reorganization proceedings opened since August 7, 2019, by the Marseilles Commercial Court to the benefit of Bourbon Corporation and its affiliate Bourbon Maritime, Court Administrators in October received a takeover offer from a company owned by a group of French banks. The offer was related to assets and activities of Bourbon Corporation.

Bourbon said earlier in December that the offer of Société Phocéenne de Participation (SPP), a company owned by a group of French banks representing 75% of the group’s debt, would lead to the conversion into capital of approximately €1.4 billion of debt currently borne by the group and €300 million of debt in the form of repayable bonds.

It also included €150 million in bank financing, of which €30 million could be released as soon as the transfer of ownership was completed to meet immediate liquidity needs.

According to Bourbon’s previous statement, the acceptance of SPP’s offer would mean that Bourbon Corporation would be liquidated, leading to a total loss notably for the shareholders and bondholders.

It is also worth reminding that there were several other offers for Bourbon’s assets. The offer submitted on behalf of JS & Co by Jacques de Chateauvieux, Bourbon Chairman and CEO, could not be examined. The Chinese company ICBC Financial Leasing, supporting the SPP, refused to discuss a possible agreement with JS & Co, an agreement that was a condition precedent to its offer.

In addition, the representatives of the other two offers, Peschaud and Tidewater, did not appear at the hearing earlier in December.

In an update on Monday, Bourbon said that, by a judgment dated December 23, 2019, the Marseilles Commercial Court had decided of the disposal of the assets of Bourbon Corporation to SPP. Bourbon’s assets will be transferred to SPP on January 2, 2020.

SPP is a company owned by the following banking institutions: BNP Paribas, Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel Alpes Provence, Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel de Paris et d’Ile de France, Crédit Mutuel Equity SCR, Crédit Lyonnais, Natixis, and Société Générale.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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