Singaporean Liftboat Owner Ezion Winds Up Operations
Offshore services company Ezion Holdings, owner of pioneering liftboat firm Teras Offshore, said Thursday that it plans to wind up its business through liquidation. The firm has lost money for years, and trading in its stock has been suspended since 2019.
Ezion has been gradually selling off its fleet, but it has been hoping to partner up with a new investor to transition into a pure ship-management business. That partnership has not materialized, and the firm's creditors have not expressed support for further efforts at restructuring.
In a market filing Thursday, Ezion's directors said that the company is insolvent and unable to pay its debts, and it is time to seek the best value for its investors through an "orderly wind down of the affairs of the company" through court-managed liquidation.
Ezion took a major financial hit during the COVID-driven downturn of 2020, and the firm has been slowly stepping out of the market by disposing of assets. In June, it sold off one drill rig and five barges for a small sum. In July, it sold off two tugs and a liftboat to Hong Kong-based ZhongXie Industrial, raising $84 million. The proceeds were used to repay debt.
In October, Ezion announced that it had signed agreements to sell four stacked liftboats - Teras Conquest, Teras Fortress, Teras Conquest 5 and Rising Phoenix - for a total of $40 million. Lacking funds to reactivate and deploy these vessels for hire, the firm decided that disposal "will allow the group to stop incurring further operating costs and liabilities and will also allow . . . the partial repayment of the secured bank loans." It also announced the winding-up of a subsidiary, a 25 percent pay cut for top executives and a drastic headcount reduction of 71 percent.