Oceanografia Trustee Takes Claimed Ship to International Waters

The trustee of Mexican oil-service provider Oceanografia SA’s defaulted 2018 notes said it has taken the ship that creditors are claiming as collateral into international waters to safeguard bondholder assets.

Norsk Tillitsmann ASA declared the $160 million of securities in default last week and took the 591-foot construction vessel named Goliath “in conformity with its rights under the bond agreement,” the Oslo-based trustee wrote in a March 10 letter posted on its website. Creditors are now seeking to sell the ship and recoup $215 million of principal, accrued interest and other fees, according to the trustee.

Oceanografia, based in Ciudad del Carmen, was seized by the Mexican government on Feb. 28 after Citigroup Inc. said it took a $360 million loss on loans to the company against receivables that didn’t exist. Norsk Tillitsmann claimed ownership of the OSA Goliath with material owned by state-controlled oil company Petroleos Mexicanos aboard, a government official with knowledge of the probe said March 6.

Norsk Tillitsmann said in the letter that it isn’t aware that Goliath, which is valued at $245 million according to estimates provided in the bonds’ prospectus, was subject to the government’s seizure of Oceanografia last month. The 12 percent bonds due 2018 are now being bid at 109 cents on the dollar, according to pricing from Pareto Securities.

The trustee has summoned bondholders to a March 24 meeting in Oslo and says new funding from creditors may be needed to maximize the recovery of investors.

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