GulfMark prepares for bankruptcy to get rid of $430M of debt

  • Business & Finance

U.S.-based offshore support vessel owner GulfMark Offshore has reached an agreement with certain noteholders on a comprehensive financial restructuring, which will allow the company to cut its debt through Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. 

Holders of approximately 47% of the company’s unsecured 6.375% senior notes due 2022 have signed a restructuring support agreement (RSA) that, when implemented, will strengthen the company’s competitive and financial position, GulfMark said on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the RSA, the company will convert its outstanding senior notes to 35.65% of the equity in a reorganized GulfMark, resulting in the elimination of approximately $430 million in outstanding debt and approximately $27 million in annual interest payments. The company will also launch a $125 million rights offering to holders of its senior notes for an additional 60% of the equity in a reorganized GulfMark, providing liquidity to fund its operations.

The $125 million rights offering will be backstopped by certain holders of the senior notes. Existing shareholders will receive 0.75% of the equity as well as warrants for an additional 7.5% of the equity in the reorganized GulfMark. The warrants will have a 7-year term and an exercise price based on a reorganized overall equity value of $1 billion.

The vessel owner also said that the restructuring will be implemented through a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of the company on or before May 21, 2017. The company will continue its operations throughout the process. The company has entered into a commitment letter, subject to certain conditions including execution of definitive documentation, for financing to support its operations during the process.

“The restructuring will enhance our competitive position when contracting with customers and vendors, and it will substantially strengthen our capital structure and liquidity,” said Quintin Kneen, President and Chief Executive Officer. “While the industry conditions remain challenging, this debt reduction and rights offering will significantly enhance GulfMark’s financial position.”

Kneen continued, “This restructuring enables us to continue meeting our ongoing obligations to all customers, employees, and vendors. We are confident that this step will position GulfMark to seize opportunities as the downturn continues and in the eventual market recovery.”

To remind, in April this year GulfMark was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (the NYSE) due to non-compliance with the exchange’s continued listing standard and started trading in the Pink Sheets.

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