Will Marco Polo Marine sink or swim? The shares of the beleaguered marine logistic group were actively traded recently due to the massive stake disposal (10.29%) by UOB and the emergence of white knight, the Teo family, founders of the Super Group. For the stakeholders, the most pertinent question now is whether this counter has finally seen light at end of the tunnel?
The past two years had been a nightmare for Marco Polo Marine as it also engaged in an epic legal dispute with big boy, Sembcorp Marine over the former’s unilateral termination of a US$214.3 million contract for building a jack-up rig that was under construction at Sembcorp Marine’s PPL Shipyard. It was only in November 2017 that both parties reached an agreement in favour of PPL Shipyard. Marco Polo was also forced to withdraw its claims against PPL.
The significant upheaval in the shareholdings came about after the successful completion of the debt restructuring exercise in which new shares were issued to creditors and new investors. On looking back, the marine logistic company probably would not have gotten itself into this mess had it not ventured into the offshore sector in 2010. But then again, nobody could have foreseen the slump in oil price leading to the protracted ailing oil and gas sector.
As a marine logistic company, the ship chartering operations of Marco Polo Marine comprises of two divisions – Tug and Barge Division and Offshore Division. The offshore division was established in end 2010 with the objective of venturing into the Offshore oil and gas sector. The offshore division has expanded steadily to its current sizeable fleet of 13 off-shore vessels. Marco Polo also carries out ship building, ship repairs and conversions, as well as oil and gas fabrications through its shipyard which is located at Batam, Indonesia.
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