Go-ahead for Bourbon to delay bond payment by one year

French offshore vessel owner Bourbon Offshore has managed to get bondholders’ consent to postpone its next interest payment of €3.9 million ($4.8M) by one year.

Bourbon in March initiated discussions with its main financial partners, both in France and abroad, in order to balance the servicing of its debt with the expected gradual market recovery and the corresponding upturn in the group’s performance.

The company’s debt at the end of 2017 was over 1 billion euros.

Bourbon said last Friday that, as a consequence of discussions, a general waiver should be finalized with Bourbon’s leasers and debt holders in order to allow the group to withhold all payments. Aiming at enabling all parties to negotiate quickly within a secured legal framework, this general waiver, that the group is confident to obtain, also demonstrates the goodwill of all parties to achieve a satisfactory debt reshaping.

In this context, the group has suspended servicing both its leases and debt commitments, during the negotiation period. This allows Bourbon to focus on its operational priorities and market turnaround and should encourage all parties to make negotiations as short as possible.

As part of the negotiation, Bourbon has requested the consent of the general meeting of the bondholders to defer by one year the next interest payment date due under the bonds for an approximate amount of €3.9 million due on April 24, 2018 on April 24, 2019, which will bear interest from October 24, 2018 (included) to April 24, 2019 (excluded) at the rate corresponding to the applicable rate to the bonds.

The general meeting held on Friday, April 20 has authorized Bourbon to postpone this interest payment by one year.

Bourbon concluded, “The company is confident in its ability to find before year end a balanced solution with all its lenders – often long-standing partners – that suits all parties and allows the company to adapt its financing to its future development.”

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