Seismic Surveyor Polarcus Defaults on Debt, Shares Plunge


OSLO, Jan 26 Reuters Oslolisted seismic surveyor Polarcus has defaulted on its bank loans and bonds, it said on Tuesday, sending the companys shares plunging more than 30.

Polarcus and other seismic surveyors have been hit by weak demand as oil companies slash spending on geological data amid the coronavirus pandemic and last years crash in the price of crude.

The company intends to pursue all available options with a view to ensuring the financial sustainability of the company and in the meantime will halt all payments of interest and amortization to finance providers, it said in a statement.

The company said banks had declined to extend the deadline for repaying a 25 million working capital facility, triggering a crossdefault on other loans and bonds, which totalled 415.7 million at the end of September.

United Arab Emiratesheadquartered Polarcus said it had hired financial and legal advisers for a balance sheet restructuring, while intending to continue its operations as normal.

Following a drop in the companys share price, the Oslo Bourse halted trade in the stock to give Polarcus time to provide additional information.

The company, which owns seven seismic vessels, including two chartered to Russias Sovcomflot, added it had an order backlog of about 130 million as of Tuesday.

A previous oil market downturn from 2014 to 2016 resulted in a consolidation of firms in the seismic industry, with major players either listed or headquartered in Norway.



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