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Offshore Support Journal

Offshore Support Journal

Tidewater to emerge from bankruptcy

Fri 14 Jul 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Tidewater to emerge from bankruptcy
Tidewater will be able to meet its vessel obligations once it has completed its restructuring

Tidewater Inc has gained court approval for its reorganisation and refinancing plans to allow it to come out of bankruptcy protection. The US-based owner of one of the world’s largest fleets of OSVs will be able to recapitalise and refinance debt on its balance sheet. It should be out of bankruptcy before the end of this month.

The courts approved Tidewater’s intention to pay its debts through share and stock deals to prevent it from going under as it tackles some of the worst offshore vessel market conditions for decades.

The US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware confirmed the second amended joint pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganisation of Tidewater and its affiliated debtors. This was originally agreed on 17 May this year and amended on 13 July.

Tidewater president and chief executive Jeffrey Platt said this approval should help Tidewater meet its obligations and free up cash for acquisitions. He explained: “The substantial deleveraging of our balance sheet through the recapitalisation contemplated by the plan and our strong liquidity position should reassure our customer and vendor base of our ongoing ability to perform our contracts and meet our obligations.”

He continued: “We are working hard to complete the remaining steps necessary to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of this month. This restructuring will position us to consider possible targeted acquisition opportunities in an industry where consolidation is to be expected.”

Under the restructuring plan, debtors, holders of bond notes and sale-leaseback agreements will receive their pro rata share of US$225 million of cash and the rest in stock.