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Titan Bondholders Said to Favor Stake Sale to Liquidation

Owners of Titan Petrochemicals Group Ltd.’s debt favor selling a stake in the company over its liquidation, a member of the bondholders committee said yesterday.

Saturn Petrochemical Holdings Ltd., a special-purpose vehicle of New-York based private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, has asked the Supreme Court of Bermuda to liquidate Titan after it defaulted on HK$825.8 million ($106 million) of principal and HK$35.1 million in interest due on its U.S. dollar bonds on March 19.

“The liquidation of Titan is not in the best interests of the wider range of stakeholders including creditors, shareholders and employees,” Jonathan Chia Croft, the chief investment officer of London-based investment company AdviCorp Plc, said in an e-mail yesterday. Croft declined to disclose the size of AdviCorp’s holding in Titan’s debt.

A spokesman representing Warburg Pincus, who declined to be identified, said he had no immediate comment. Serene Goh, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Titan, declined to comment when contacted by phone.

The Bermuda court is scheduled to rule Aug. 16. on the winding-up order filed by Saturn on July 5. Titan provides services including oil storage and transportation in Asia-Pacific.

Guangdong Offer

China’s state-owned Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co. has offered as much as HK$200 million for a controlling stake to bail the company out, Titan said July 18.

“Through negotiations with Guangdong Zhenrong and Titan, the bondholder committee will secure a significant improvement in terms,” Croft said in the e-mail. A deal between Guangdong Zhenrong and Titan is “the best option available to bondholders,” he said.

Li Hui, a Guangdong-based spokesman at Guangdong Zhenrong, didn’t answer two phone calls seeking comment.

The majority of bondholders voted against the proposed liquidation, Titan said in a statement on Aug. 3, without providing details. Titan has $166 million worth of bonds outstanding, according to the statement. Titan shares, which have fallen 22 percent this year, were suspended in Hong Kong on June 19 before a company announcement.

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