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Finalising finance and forming new board delays GulfMark’s Chapter 11 exit

Thu 05 Oct 2017 by David Foxwell

Finalising finance and forming new board delays GulfMark’s Chapter 11 exit
Quintin Kneen: “finding the right financing is better than rushing out – it was a big challenge”

GulfMark Offshore’s president and chief executive Quintin Kneen said he expects the company to formally exit Chapter 11 and leave bankruptcy behind it by the end of October, a little later than originally envisaged.

The US-based offshore vessel super major had hoped to exit bankruptcy as soon as 4 October, but the process has been delayed a little as the company assembles financing and a new board of directors.

Mr Kneen told OSJ “DNB is leading the US$125M exit financing. Breakwater Capital is providing US$100M of the total. It is a five-year facility, with limited covenants during the first three years, and the interest rate is Libor plus 625.

“We are in the process of finalising the documentation, and when it is complete we will be officially out of bankruptcy. I don’t expect the documentation process to take us past the end of the month.”

Mr Kneen said that, as with many financings efforts, the task is about finding the right mix of price and covenants. “There were lenders providing capital at higher rates and looser covenants, and there were lenders offering lower rates and tighter covenants. But in today’s market, just finding those lenders took longer than normal,” he said.

“A bit longer in bankruptcy to find the right financing is better than rushing out and then finding yourself tumbling back in. It was a big challenge, and I think DNB did a great job. But it took longer than we expected. Getting the right facility is important because it eliminates any doubt about GulfMark’s ability to capitalise on opportunities in the industry.”

The new board is not quite finalised, but includes Mr Kneen, Louis Raspino (Pride International); Kenneth Traub (Raging Capital); Scott McCarty (Q Investments); Eugene Davis (Pirinate Consulting); and Dominic Di Piero (Newport Capital). Mr Kneen said one additional director may be added for a total of seven. As of now, the board does not include former chairman of the board, David Butters.

 

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