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The fate of one of the world’s largest oil tanker owners remained unclear on Wednesday ahead of the expiry on Thursday of waivers allowing New York-listed General Maritime to breach a series of clauses in its banking covenants.
The future of the company, which was last week forced to issue only partial third-quarter results and cancel a planned conference call with investors amid uncertainty over its finances, is likely to depend on Oaktree, the private equity fund, and a group of bondholders.
In April, Oaktree invested $200m in an issue of convertible bonds as General Maritime struggled to cope with a slump in tanker earnings and its heavy debt burden. The fund could make a further investment, according to shipping industry figures.
However, the stance of holders of a $300m unsecured bond issued in 2009 could also prove crucial. The bondholders have appointed New York’s Perella Weinberg to advise them over any restructuring, while General Maritime has appointed Moelis & Company.
If the company’s banks refuse to grant an extension to the waivers, granted on October 3 and General Maritime were forced to seek bankruptcy protection, it would be the highest-profile victim so far of a slump in oil tanker rates