Noble Group secures US$100 million in financing from investors in restructuring boost

The company logo of Noble Group is displayed at its office in Hong Kong, China. (Reuters pic)

SINGAPORE: Debt-laden commodities trader Noble Group said on Friday it had secured US$100 million in trade finance facilities from a group of investors, winning fresh support for a US$3.4 billion debt restructuring plan that is key to its survival.

In a regulatory statement, Noble, once Asia’s largest commodity trader, said a consortium of investors, which includes perpetual security holders Value Partners Ltd and Pinpoint Asset Management, will provide the three-year financing. The consortium, which owns about 5% of Noble stock, has agreed to back the restructuring.

Noble’s shares rose 1 Singapore cent to S$0.115 on Friday morning, representing a jump of 11%. The stock has more than doubled in value this week after it won over a key shareholder for the debt restructuring with a sweetened equity offer.

The firm’s market value has plunged to little more than $110 million from more than US$11 billion at its peak in 2011. The company has sold billions of dollars of assets, taken hefty writedowns and cut hundreds of jobs over the past three years to slash debt.

The additional funding capacity would allow more flexibility for Noble to expand its trade flows, particularly in high0growth opportunities in liquefied natural gas, Noble said on Friday.

Noble also said more than 85% of its senior creditors supported the debt plan.