PIL extends Heliconia talks and offloads more ships

Pacific International Lines (PIL) has informed the Singapore Exchange that it is again delaying filing its annual return, with the names of the latest shareholders and paid-up capital figures, which was to be submitted by 29 September 2020.

The Singapore company is still in bailout discussions with Heliconia Capital, a unit of the Singapore government’s investment company Temasek Holdings. PIL MD Teo Siong Seng, said the company hopes to finalise talks by 26 November.

PIL also sought to push back the release of its 2019 financial results and its annual general meeting, which were due to be held by 29 August.

In the notice to the Singapore Exchange, PIL’s executive director (finance) Kwa Wee Keng said the embattled operator’s, restructuring effort is likely to include an arrangement which allow for the re-profiling or compromise on existing debts.

Kwa went on to say, “Due to significant challenges facing the container shipping industry, which have been compounded by the prolonged impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, the company has been engaging in discussions with its creditors with a view towards achieving a holistic restructuring of the company’s liabilities.”

On 30 July, Heliconia agreed to make an interim investment of US$112 million. In addition, PIL is in talks with 15 key banks to restructure its loans. Kwa said that if both sides can reach an agreement, Heliconia will provide additional funding in the form of debt or equity.

Meanwhile, PIL has sold two 2018-built sisterships. The 11,932TEU Kota Pemimpin and Kota Petani, built by Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, were sold to Seaspan for US$89 million.

PIL has sold a number of assets this year, including selling a subsidiary, Pacific Direct Line, and a number of ships, while also exiting the Transpacific trade.

PIL has sold 12 ships since December 2019and now has an operating capacity of 302,403TEU, comprising 58 owned and 38 chartered ships.

Martina Li
Aisia Correspondent