Noble Group says shareholder Goldilocks' allegations 'unfounded'

Noble Group looks to raise $2.5 billion to refinance debt
The company logo of Noble Group is displayed at its office in Hong Kong, China January 22, 2016. Reuters

Noble Group on Wednesday denied allegations by its shareholder Goldilocks Investment Company over market manipulation, negligent misstatements and minority oppression by the commodities trading firm.

"Management are essential to the company's business because its core businesses are "people businesses"," Noble said in a regulatory filing.

Abu Dhabi-based Goldilocks Investment Company, which owns 8.1 percent of Noble, on Tuesday, complained to regulators that Noble's restructuring plan favors management at the expense of shareholders.

"The allegations that management are enriching themselves at the expense of shareholders are unfounded," said Noble.

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The Hong Kong-based company said the Board has attempted to maximise value on all disposals and that there was no motive for the board to sell at an undervalue to competitors.

As per the deal proposed by Noble on Monday, the restructuring would be in exchange for 70 percent of the firm and leave its current shareholders with only 10 percent in the new group.

Noble said that a consortium of its senior creditors, who represent about 30 percent of its bonds and revolving credit facility, has agreed to the debt-for-equity swap.

The proposed restructuring includes a 3-year committed trade finance and hedging facility of up to US$700 million for Noble's commodities trading businesses.

This article was first published on January 31, 2018