Struggling Indonesian chemical tanker outfit PT Berlian Laju Tanker (BLT) said on 9 October that two Indonesian businessmen are expected to make a USD10 million investment in the company.
BLT, which sought court protection in 2012 after chemical freight rates dived following the global financial crisis, said a company called PT Elang Megah Inti, controlled by Benny Lucman and Gideon Shem Chandra, will invest the funds by subscribing to a “mandatory convertible security”.
The security, comprising not more than 2,456,869,565 shares, would be fixed at IDR57.50 (USD0.00422) each, yielding Elang Megah Inti a 9.5% stake.
Lucman and Chandra are looking to invest in the Indonesian domestic cabotage market through BLT, which they deem to be an internationally recognised operator.
At its peak, BLT, dually listed in Singapore and Jakarta, was the world’s third biggest chemical tanker player, having acquired Chembulk for USD850 million in 2007. Trading of its shares has been suspended since it went into court protection but BLT hopes its stocks can resume trading at year-end.
“After the proposed restructuring, BLT will be well-positioned to take advantage of its expertise in Asian shipping and, in particular, the Indonesian cabotage market,” BLT said. “The proposed security issuance provides PT Elang Megah Inti with the opportunity to acquire a strategic stake in an appropriately capitalised and funded company that is well-positioned to grow and deliver an investment return.”
The proceeds will be used for general working capital but the deal will only get the green light if BLT’s controlling Surya family retain at least a 15% stake.
BLT’s restructuring would place most of its fleet in the hands of private equity firms, and the company plans to focus on the domestic cabotage trade.
BLT is also transferring ownership of 23 chemical tankers, four LPG carriers, and control of 12 time-chartered chemical tankers to a new Connecticut-based company controlled by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and York Capital, among others. The new company will take on the Chembulk name.