* Court appoints KPMG as judicial manager
* Swiber initially filed for liquidation
* Singapore offshore and marine firms hit by oil price drop
(Adds details from court, context on offshore and marine
By Fathin Ungku
SINGAPORE, Oct 6 A Singapore court on Thursday
appointed financial advisory firm KPMG as judicial
manager for Swiber Holdings Ltd, allowing the troubled
oilfield services firm to be kept under a process through which
it could be nursed back to health.
Swiber applied in July to place itself under judicial
management. It had initially filed for liquidation as it faced
hundreds of million of dollars in debt and a decline in orders
following a drop in global oil prices.
Judicial management allows a financially distressed company
to be restructured under court supervision rather than the more
disruptive process of liquidation that reduces the chance of
creditors recouping money owed.
KPMG was the firm's interim judicial manager.
On Thursday, the court heard that none of Swiber's creditors
had any objection to judicial management. Creditors include
Singapore's biggest lender, DBS Group Holdings Ltd,
whose exposure to the firm is S$721 million ($526.4 million).
The judge suggested forming a committee to deal with
"creditors as a corporate group rather than (on an) individual
"Twenty-seven investor expressions of interest have been
received ... there could be more," Swiber's lawyer Ashok Kumar
told the court, citing KPMG.
Swiber is a part of Singapore's offshore and marine sector,
which has been pummelled as clients cut spending due to oil
prices hitting record lows.
Several firms in the sector, including oil and gas service
provider Swissco Holdings Ltd and container ship owner
Rickmers Maritime, have recently sought to restructure
"Generally, bond yields for this beleaguered sector are
still showing 20 percent yields - highlighting their continuing
risks of default," trading strategist Nicholas Teo at KGI
Securities said in an emailed report.
On Wednesday, AusGroup Ltd, which provides
maintenance and construction services to the natural resources
sector, received support from a majority of bondholders to
extend the maturity of notes worth S$110 million by two years.
($1 = 1.3696 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Writing by Aradhana Aravindan;
Editing by Christopher Cushing)