Noble Group Looks to Start Debt Restructuring Talks Again
(Bloomberg) -- Embattled commodity trader Noble Group Holdings Ltd. is seeking to start discussions about a new debt restructuring, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The move comes just three years after the Hong Kong-based company emerged from its last multibillion-dollar debt restructuring, which converted much of the company’s debt to equity and handed control to a group of hedge fund creditors led by Taconic Capital Advisors.
Once Asia’s largest commodity trader with a market value of more than $10 billion, Noble was forced to restructure in 2018 after years of losses and accusations of improper accounting, which the company has denied.
In the years since, Noble has still struggled to make money. In its most recent financial results, it said it lost $72 million in the nine months through Sept. 30. The company had $1.6 billion of debt as of Sept. 30, according to its accounts.
What’s more, one of the company’s key assets, an alumina refinery in Jamaica called Jamalco, was seriously damaged by a fire in August and isn’t due to restart production until the middle of 2022.
A coupon payment on the company’s Trading Co. bond is due Monday, and Noble is seeking to start restructuring negotiations before then, said the people. They asked not to be named because talks are private.
Representatives for the company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside of Asian business hours on Thursday.
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