Hvide Marine Incorporated announced a voluntary Chapter 11 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
. The filing allows the company to operate its businesses in the normal fashion under court protection, and with adequate funding, while it continues discussions with representatives of certain major creditors and others on a restructuring plan that would deleverage its balance sheet, restore liquidity, and enhance its competitive ability in the marketplace.
Hvide Marine anticipates it will complete its restructuring and emerge from Chapter 11 in late 1999 or early 2000.
The company is in active discussions concerning a proposed restructuring plan under which its general and trade creditors would be paid in full; its existing credit facility would be refinanced; holders of its Senior Notes would exchange their Senior Notes for common equity of the company; and holders of the Trust Convertible Preferred Securities
and Common Stock would receive common equity and/or warrants to purchase common equity. Implementation of the plan is subject to numerous conditions, including the need to reach agreements with lenders and other third parties, and is expected to result in substantial dilution to the company's current stockholders.
As a leading worldwide operator of oilfield support vessels, Hvide Marine has suffered from the prolonged drought in offshore drilling activity and reported a loss for its fiscal second quarter of $23.7 million.