Claims against Swiber leap to $268m in a week

Claims against oil service firm Swiber Holdings jumped to US$197 million (S$268 million) as of last Thursday, from US$135.9 million a week ago, according to a filing late on Friday.

The company told the Singapore Exchange late on Friday that its interim judicial managers are verifying the accuracy of the new claims.

The claims against the firm have ballooned in recent weeks, skyrocketing from just US$25.9 million last month, when Swiber sought to be put under judicial management.

KPMG told The Straits Times (ST) yesterday that trade creditors have continued to issue letters of demand even though judicial management provides a moratorium on all legal actions against the company.

The moratorium does not stop trade creditors from filing claims for work done, but these claims have not been proven yet, nor has the interim judicial manager asked creditors to file for proof of debt, ST understands.

During the adjudication process, the interim judicial manager will look at the creditors' invoices and supporting evidence to confirm the debt owed.

Meanwhile, creditors will be able to get an insight into the state of the firm's finances and the events leading to its debt crisis once the interim judicial managers' full report is submitted to the High Court by Friday.

A brief outline filed on Aug 19 said the report will examine the affairs of Swiber and its main revenue generator, Swiber Offshore Construction. It will also look at the strengths and weaknesses of the projects and other financial and economic factors.

A summary of the firms' encumbered and unencumbered assets, pending lawsuits and arbitration, and letters of demand will also be provided.

Swiber's application to place itself under judicial management will be heard on Oct 6.

Separately on Friday, Swiber announced it had obtained a three-month extension to Nov 14 to announce its unaudited second-quarter results for the three months to June 30.

This is to give its interim judicial managers time to review the financial affairs of the group, including the status of projects, cashflow positions and litigation matters.

This article was first published on August 30, 2016.
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