Nomura Sued by Six Taiwanese Banks Over Soured Syndicated Loan

  • Banks say Nomura failed to extend loan portion to Ultrasonic
  • Borrower’s CEO went missing less than one month after drawdown

Six Taiwanese banks filed a lawsuit against a unit of Nomura Holdings Inc. yesterday, saying it failed to extend its portion of a syndicated loan to a now-insolvent shoemaker, Ultrasonic AG.

Nomura International (Hong Kong) Ltd., part of Japan’s biggest brokerage, was sued in the Taipei District Court, according to Winnie Chang, a Taipei-based spokeswoman for Cathay United Bank.

In a joint statement, the six lenders claim Nomura didn’t provide a pledged $9 million based on an agreement for a $60 million syndicated loan for Chinese shoemaker Ultrasonic signed on Aug. 8, 2014. Chang confirmed that the loan was drawn down that month and the borrower failed to repay the principal and interest.

The six firms are Cathay United, Chang Hwa Commercial Bank, a lender now known as KGI Bank, Hwatai Bank, Taiwan Business Bank and Taiwan Cooperative Bank. The Taipei-based China Times newspaper reported yesterday that the lenders are seeking compensation of around $51 million, citing unidentified bank officials.

“We are aware of the press release regarding the Ultrasonic transaction,” Nomura’s Hong Kong-based spokesman Aaron Pan said in response to a Bloomberg inquiry. “However, we can confirm that we have not yet received any formal notice of litigation and therefore cannot comment further at this stage."

CEO Disappeared

Frankfurt-listed Ultrasonic announced it was filing for insolvency in March 2015 after Chief Executive Officer Wu Qingyong said in an interview in September 2014 that he borrowed company money for personal use and planned to pay it back later. Wu was fired in the same month after he and his son, the chief operating officer, disappeared and the shoemaker’s cash went missing.

In their statement, the Taiwanese lenders cited an unidentified Ultrasonic official as saying Nomura had asked the company to transfer $9 million of its own funds to a unit of the Japanese bank in Singapore a day before signing the loan document, and to keep the receipt for future examination.

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