After $5 Billion Loss, Noble Group Sets Earnings Amid Battle

(Bloomberg) -- Noble Group Ltd., the commodity trader battling to get a debt-for-equity restructuring agreed to secure its survival, will report first-quarter earnings next week, after signals from its chairman that the company faced tough conditions in the period after losing almost $5 billion in 2017.

The Singapore-listed company will report figures for the first three months on May 15, followed by a conference call the same day, the trader said in an exchange statement on Monday. Local listing rules typically allow a company 45 days to report first-quarter performance, unless granted a waiver.

After years of crisis marked by losses, asset sales and a default, Noble Group’s battle for survival has descended into legal fights and public sparring between the company, its creditors and major shareholder Goldilocks Investment Co. The Abu Dhabi-based fund, which recently won a bid in the Singapore courts to have Noble Group’s annual general meeting delayed amid a dispute over directors, has filed a lawsuit to challenge the debt-for-equity plan, saying it’s unfair. A pre-trial hearing in that case is scheduled for later this week.

Noble Group Chairman Paul Brough told shareholders last week that the company’s position is “critical,” and its ability to make money was severely restricted. The remarks came at a special general meeting in Singapore, which was held after the AGM was adjourned, and dealt with the disposal of a vessel.

In recent weeks, Goldilocks has asked Noble Group for more information on how its remaining business is faring, including in comments to Bloomberg TV. Separately, creditors have warned that given increasing pressure, any delay in the timetable for a debt deal “will cause the company irreparable damage.”

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