Bloomberg News

Berlian Laju, MF Global U.K., Glitnir Bank, Rangers: Bankruptcy

March 15, 2012

PT Berlian Laju Tanker, the Indonesian ship operator under court protection, may present a plan to creditors in early May as it seeks to restructure debts and leases.

The company is in “active negotiations” with shipowners and has begun talks with lenders led by DNB ASA (DNB), Cosimo Borrelli, vice president of restructuring, said by phone yesterday. He declined to name lessors or to say what the company was seeking. “We’re not expecting a difficult or long- winded process.”

The Jakarta-based company has built up $2.4 billion of group debt, according to a March 12 Singapore court filing, after paying $850 million for Chembulk Tankers LLC in 2007 and suffering from a jump in fuel prices. The operator has about 20 leased-in vessels, which it signed for between 2005 and 2008 when rates were at a peak, Borrelli said, without elaborating.

Fees for carrying cargo are now “too far away” from those the company agreed to pay in leases, he said. He didn’t say which types of vessels it had leased.

Berlian Laju is still operating, Borrelli said. The company had a fleet of 72 vessels as of December, of which 50 are owned by subsidiaries and mortgaged to banks, according to the court documents. Other lenders include ING Groep NV (INGA), NIBC Bank NV, Nordea Bank AB (NDA), and Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), the papers show. The company owns ships that haul chemical products, gas and oil.

MF Global (MFGLQ) U.K. Directors Say Unclear if Brokerage Has Shortfall

Directors of MF Global Holding Ltd (MFGLQ).’s U.K. unit said they don’t know whether the brokerage is in the red or the black, leaving creditors such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Unipec Singapore Pte. uncertain how much they will recover.

While the legally required “statement of affairs” from the directors showed about 1.87 billion pounds ($2.93 billion) of assets, compared with liabilities of around 1.77 billion pounds, the directors didn’t know for how much some assets may be sold, administrators KPMG LLP said yesterday.

The nature and number of issues affecting claims against MF Global’s U.K. unit mean “directors have been unable to reach a view on the realizable value of particular classes of assets or, consequently, the likely surplus or shortfall to the estates,” KPMG said in a statement.

KPMG, appointed to wind up the London-based unit when MF Global Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy in October, is trying to reconcile competing claims from the broker’s U.S. trustee and customers who had money frozen in trading accounts. The U.S. brokerage unit, MF Global Inc., is the largest creditor of the U.K. business with a 685.3 million-pound claim. JPMorgan is owed about 100 million pounds, and Unipec Singapore Pte. 23.6 million pounds.

Glitnir Bank (GLB) Plans $828 Million Payout to Priority Creditors

The winding-up board of failed Icelandic lender Glitnir Bank hf said it will pay priority creditors 635 million euros ($828 million) on March 16.

Pamodzi Gold (PZG) Liquidators in Final Talks to Sell Grootvlei Mine

The joint liquidators of the Pamodzi group of companies are in the “final stages” of talks for the sale of the Grootvlei gold mine in South Africa, Johan Engelbrecht said in an e-mailed statement on behalf of the joint provisional liquidators.

Murray Was ‘Duped’ Into Selling Rangers to Whyte, Herald Says

David Murray was duped into selling Rangers Football Club (RFC) to Craig Whyte last year, the Herald said, citing Murray.

Murray apologized to fans for selling the club, which went into administration last month, to Whyte, the Glasgow-based newspaper said. Advisers, shareholders and the club’s bank were all duped, the Herald said, citing comments made by Murray at a press conference.

Murray deeply regretted doing the deal with Whyte and wouldn’t have done it had he known the details of how Whyte was going to finance the transaction, the newspaper said.

CDC (CDCAQ) to Sell Unit Stake to Vista Equity After Canceling Auction

CDC Corp (CDCAQ)., the operator of Internet media company China.com (8006), will seek court approval to sell the majority stake in a software unit to Vista Equity Partners for about $250 million after no other bids surfaced.

The Hong Kong-based company canceled an auction planned for tomorrow after receiving no competing offers for its 87 percent interest in CDC Software Corp. by the March 9 deadline, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta.

The sale to Vista, to be considered at a March 20 hearing, would allow CDC to pay all creditors in full and provide a recovery to shareholders, according to court papers. CDC estimates investors may get a payout of about $5.05 a share.

Gregory D. Ellis, a lawyer for CDC, said in a telephone interview yesterday that he doesn’t expect any objections to the sale.

Schlecker Administrator Seeing Investor Interest, Die Welt Says

More than 10 potential investors have expressed an interest in German retailer Schlecker, spanning private equity and strategic bidders, Die Welt reported, citing the drugstore chain’s insolvency administrator Arndt Geiwitz.

Geiwitz plans to compile a shortlist of potential buyers from the parties at the end of this month, the German newspaper said. Almost 12,000 people, mostly women, are set to lose their jobs this month as 2,400 Schlecker outlets close, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.


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