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These hedge funds will control Noble Group after deal closes


SINGAPORE: Commodity trader Noble Group Ltd. has disclosed the identities of its new owners, detailing the hedge funds that’ll control most of the shares in the embattled company after its marathon $3.5 billion debt-for-equity restructuring is completed within the next two weeks.

The 10 members of the ad hoc group of creditors that’ve driven the complex deal are the Attestor Value Master Fund, BFAM Asian Opportunities Master Fund LP, Cowell & Lee Advisors Ltd., funds managed or advised by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, Governors Lane LP, Mercer Investments (Singapore) Pte Ltd., Owl Creek Investments I LLC, Taconic Capital Advisors UK LLP, Varde Partners Europe Ltd., and York Capital Global Advisors LLC.

After years of crisis and billions in losses, Noble Group has been putting in place the final pieces of the restructuring, and expects the process to be wrapped up before the end of November. 

Under the plan, 70 percent of the equity in the new business will be controlled by the senior creditors. The remainder will be split between existing shareholders and management.

The identities of the creditors were listed in copies of court documents from London and Bermuda as the scheme of arrangement was sanctioned, according to a statement from Noble Group on Thursday. Earlier this week, the company confirmed a third-quarter loss. Its existing shares will cease trade on Friday.

In the list, Varde Partners was described as a sub-adviser for certain affiliated private funds, while York Capital was listed on behalf of certain funds and/or accounts managed or advised by it or its affiliates, according to the documents.

The creditors have signaled that they may keep Noble’s remaining businesses together, according to a letter from the ad hoc group released by the company in September. 

“The current management team, coupled with a new governance structure, is well-positioned to execute on the proposed turnaround,” the creditors said in the letter, which was signed by Joseph Swanson, senior managing director at Houlihan Lokey Inc., an adviser to the group.

Swanson didn’t reply to an email seeking comment on Thursday, and a call to the company’s London office outside normal business hours wasn’t answered. With the clock running before Noble Group’s existing shares no longer trade in Singapore, the stock was 5.7 percent lower at 8.3 local cents at 3:10 p.m. - Bloomberg

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