Schahin, China-based ICBC Leasing’s first partner in the Brazilian offshore market, announced on 17 April that 28 of its units have filed for bankruptcy protection in the Sao Paolo state court.
The application was made after the company’s failure to refinance up to BRL6.5 billion (USD2.1 billion) in debt.
ICBC Leasing inked a USD1.1 billion deal with Schahin in July 2014 for the leasing of two semisubmersible drilling rigs – SS Pantanal and SS Amazonia – which were built by Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore Engineering.
SS Pantanal, 2010 built, was leased to the Brazilian company for eight years, while 2011-built SS Amazonia for four years.
However, Schahin has to suspend the operation of these two rigs, as well as three other rigs – Lancer, Cerrado, and Sertao – due to tight credit markets, making financing too difficult, according to Schahin.
ICBC Leasing holds shipping assets valued over USD6 billion as of the end of 2014, one-third of which are in China, while the rest are operated abroad. The company owns around 280 vessels, including rigs, offshore engineering ships, LNG carriers, container ships, and bulk carriers.