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Humpuss Sea Transport Files for Chapter 15 Bankruptcy

Humpuss Sea Transport Pte Ltd., a Singapore-based unit of an Indonesian shipping company, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

The unit of Jakarta-based PT Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi is already under the control of liquidators in Singapore, where it was incorporated in 1996, according to today’s filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Debt and assets were listed at more than $100 million.

“Following the global financial crisis in 2008, shipping rates (HST’s primary source of revenue) sharply decreased,” Jason Aleksander Kardachi, a liquidator for the company in Singapore, said in court papers.

Proceedings against Humpuss Sea to make required payments under charter agreements led to judgments totaling as much as $100 million, according to court papers. Company records from 2009 indicate assets of $182 million, Kardachi said.

Under Chapter 15 of the bankruptcy code, foreign companies can block U.S. lawsuits and organize U.S. creditors to assist their reorganization in a foreign court. Humpuss Sea is a defendant in a lawsuit in New York and liquidators in Singapore may need help from U.S. parties to recover assets, lawyers for the company wrote.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP is representing the company in its Chapter 15 bankruptcy, according to court papers

Shipping companies that have filed for bankruptcy in recent years include General Maritime Corp., Korea Line Corp., Britannia Bulk Plc, Armada (Singapore) Pte Ltd. and Transfield ER Cape.

The case is In re Humpuss Sea Transport PTE Ltd. 12-11086, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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