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Torm CEO Meldgaard Says Shipowner to Complete Debt Negotiations

Torm A/S Chief Executive Officer Jacob Meldgaard said he expects the Danish owner of oil-product tankers and commodity carriers to complete debt talks.

“I do expect we will be able to conclude our negotiations with the group of lenders during the coming period,” Meldgaard said on a conference call today. He spoke in reply after being asked whether Hellerup, Denmark-based Torm would resolve financial issues and remain a so-called going concern, which he said it would.

Torm’s annual report, published today, included a “disclaimer of opinion” from auditor Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. about the company’s ability to remain a going concern. Debt comes to $1.87 billion, Meldgaard said by phone. That compares with a market value of 245.3 million kroner ($44 million).

The company agreed with its banks in December on delayed loan repayments and a so-called covenant standstill. The deferrals were extended two more times, with the last accord due to expire today.

Torm reported a $453 million net loss for last year, exceeding analyst estimates, according to the company. That was the third loss in a row, figures compiled by Bloomberg show.

The company said it expects to defer debt repayments for a fourth time as the current agreement expires. Torm operates about 160 vessels, according to the report.

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