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Cash-strapped PIL secures interim funding from Singapore government    31/07/2020
PIL’s total debts were estimated at between $600 million to $1 billion earlier this year, although it has trimmed its debt through a series of recent asset sales.

Cash-strapped carrier Pacific International Lines has been thrown a $100 million to $110 million emergency lifeline by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, Heliconia Capital Management, while the two sides negotiate a comprehensive financial rescue. 

The interim funding package was confirmed by PIL on Wednesday. 

“The discussions with Heliconia have been progressing well and we can confirm that a deal has been reached for interim funding that would allow the company to meet its most urgent operational needs,” a PIL spokesperson told JOC.com. 

“On the broader investment contemplated by Heliconia, PIL will make further announcements when there are material developments,” the spokesperson added. 

Sources close to the company expect the final bailout to be finalized by the end of September.  

Heliconia is thought to be contemplating a cash injection of between $400 million to $450 million into PIL in return for a significant shareholding in the privately controlled carrier.  

Asset sales to reduce debt

PIL’s total debts were estimated at between $600 million to $1 billion earlier this year, although it has trimmed its debt through a series of recent asset sales, including six 12,000 TEU container ships which raised $550 million and the disposal of its South Pacific subsidiary, Pacific Direct Line. 

The carrier also put its 17-story headquarters building on the edge of Singapore’s central business district up for sale in May for S$350 million ($252 million). Real estate sources said there has been keen interest in the building, with eight bids from prospective buyers.  

PIL, founded in 1968, is southeast Asia’s largest container line, with about 110 ships, and controls regional intra-Asia operators Advance Container Lines and Mariana Express Lines. 

PIL's financial plight was highlighted in March when its Hong Kong-listed affiliate Singamas Container Holdings said it was owed $147.5 million by PIL for containers and related services.  

In May, PIL confirmed it was in talks with Heliconia Capital Management, controlled by the Singapore government’s investment arm, Temasek Holdings, about a rescue package while warning of possible loan and bond defaults. 

 



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