Supervisor puts Xihe Holdings tankers up for sale -sources

Tankers for sale include 3 VLCCs

  
A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. Picture taken April 21, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A crude oil tanker is seen at Qingdao Port, Shandong province, China, April 21, 2019. Picture taken April 21, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Jason Lee

SINGAPORE/LONDON- The supervisor of Singaporean shipping group Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd has put seven oil tankers controlled by the company up for sale as part of efforts to recoup funds owed to creditors, three sources said on Wednesday.

Xihe Holdings is part of the Lim family business empire, which also includes oil trader Hin Leong Trading and fleet manager Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd, both of which were placed under court-appointed supervisors earlier this year. 

The sale includes three crude oil supertankers and is expected to get fully underway in the coming days, the sources said.

Clarksons Platou and Arrow Shipbroking Group have been appointed by the supervisor to act as the joint brokers for the marketing and sales of the vessels, they said.

Grant Thornton, interim judicial managers of Xihe Holdings, did not immediately respond to calls and an email requesting comment. Arrow and Clarksons did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Lim family and their lawyers did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

AlixPartners, which is acting as adviser to Grant Thornton, declined to comment.

The seven tankers are part of 136 ships that Xihe Group owns, which range from coastal barges to very large crude carriers (VLCCs).

Lim Oon Kuin, also known as O.K. Lim, with his son Evan Lim Chee Meng and daughter Lim Huey Ching, own 77 companies under the Xihe Group, which consists mainly of Xihe Holdings and Xihe Capital.

The bulk of Lim's fleet is idled in the South China Sea, off the east of peninsular Malaysia. At least six of the tankers have cargoes that are the subject of competing legal claims from multiple parties. 

Hin Leong is seeking to restructure billions of dollars of debt after the oil price crash revealed a massive, years-long fraud at the once fabled trading house.

A preliminary report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Pte, a separate court-appointed supervisor, said Hin Leong had no future as an independent company after it "grossly overstated" the value of its assets by at least $3 billion. 

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul in London, Roslan Khasawneh, Florence Tan and Aizhu Chen in Singapore, editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans) ((jonathan.saul@thomsonreuters.com; + 44 207 542 4357 ; Reuters Messaging: jonathan.saul.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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