News Desk

Noble wins over Goldilocks


Embattled commodities trader Noble Group is set to embark on a $3.4 billion debt restructure that it sees as crucial to its survival after winning over a key shareholder with a sweetened equity offer.

Noble’s shares surged as much as 57 per cent following a two-day trading halt after it said Abu Dhabi-based Goldilocks Investment Co Ltd would support the revised proposal.

The deal is critical for a company that has already sold billions of dollars of assets, taken hefty writedowns and cut hundreds of jobs over the past three years.

Noble has agreed to hand over a 70 per cent equity stake in its restructured business to senior creditors in return for halving its $3.4 billion in debt.

Existing shareholders would have got a 15 per cent equity stake in the new company, but will get 20 per cent under the sweetened deal. The remaining 10 per cent will be held by management.

Goldilocks Investment, which holds 8.1 per cent of Noble, had resisted the previous plan and filed complaints and lawsuits against Noble, arguing that the plan protected creditors at the expense of shareholders.

The firms have now agreed to discontinue all claims and proceedings, and Noble will pay Goldilocks up to $5 million for reimbursement of legal expenses.

Goldilocks, an Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) equity fund, will be entitled to nominate one person to the board of directors in the restructured group, Noble said.

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