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Berlian Laju Units Seek U.S. Chapter 15 Court Protection

Units of PT Berlian Laju Tanker, Indonesia’s largest shipping company by market value, sought protection from creditors in the U.S.

Units including Chembulk New York Pte Ltd. filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan for protection under Chapter 15 of the bankruptcy code, which puts on hold claims while a company reorganizes outside the U.S.

Berlian Laju, based in Jakarta, yesterday said it won an order in the Singapore High Court preventing its ships from being impounded while it restructures.

The debt incurred by the various companies within the Berlian Laju group is about $2.4 billion, according to a March 12 court filing in Singapore by Mark Chadwick, who is advising the shipping company on its restructuring plan.

Berlian ceased payment of loans, bonds and finance leases of about $418 million maturing this year as lower freight rates and higher fuel costs undermined its financials, the company said on Jan. 26.

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