Genting Hong Kong, the troubled cruise operator controlled by Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, has warned on of more defaults due to the insolvency of its German shipbuilding subsidiary.
The company “considers that it has exhausted all reasonable efforts” to negotiate with counterparties under the current financing arrangements, it said in a filing with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, as reported by Bloomberg.
That came after MV Werften, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, filed for insolvency on Monday with a local court in Germany, as salvage talks between the local governments and Genting came to a dead end. Potential cross defaults arising from that insolvency could amount to US$2.78 billion (about RM11.66 billion), and relevant creditors affected “may have the right” to either demand payment or take actions regarding the financing terms, Genting said.
The cruise operator’s financial health rapidly deteriorated after the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a string of restrictions that led to restructuring or insolvency of travel industry companies around the world. Genting Hong Kong halted debt payments to creditors totalling US$3.4 billion in August 2020 and was in default of that amount as of Dec 31 that year. The firm, which has offered “seacations” amid a global cruise-to-nowhere trend, reported a record loss of US$1.7 billion last May.
In its filing on Tuesday (11 January), Genting Hong Kong said that the board is in discussion with bankers, shareholder partners in Dream Cruises Holding and professional advisers to evaluate available options.
Shares in the company have been suspended from trading since 7 January until further notice.
Germany’s federal government has blamed Genting Hong Kong for MV Werften’s insolvency and 1,900 jobs lost as a result, saying that an offer of aid was turned down by the company.