SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Noble Group NOBG.SI is in discussions with its North American lenders to extend an October deadline for a $2 billion credit facility, while also taking steps to sell parts of its business to cut debt, its chairman said on Tuesday.
Paul Brough, a board member and restructuring veteran, who took over as the commodity trader’s chairman in May, told shareholders in Singapore that Noble’s U.S. lenders had been very supportive of the company’s plans to sell assets.
“We have approached them for a further extension so that we can complete the oil liquids sale on a stable basis. I am hoping that we can also speak to our RCF (revolving credit facility) lenders about further forbearance from them,” Brough said.
Once Asia’s largest commodities trading house, Noble is slashing jobs and selling assets to cut debt after a crisis-wracked two years. It is in the process of selling its North American gas and power business and expects to announce a deal for its oil liquids unit by the end of September.
In the last few months, Noble also got waivers from other banks on its loan covenants. It has debt due next year also.
The Singapore-listed company said in June its $2 billion credit facility, secured on its inventories and working capital, would be extended by four months from June 20.
Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Tom Hogue