Hvide Marine Inc. announced approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware of the Disclosure Statement regarding
the company's proposed Plan of Reorganization.
The Plan, which was filed on Oct. 1 and amended on Nov. 1, has the support of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in Hvide's Chapter 11 case, including representatives of the holders of approximately 63% of Hvide Marine's $300 million of 8 3/8 percent Senior Notes and nearly 50 percent of its outstanding Trust Convertible Preferred Securities.
"The decision by the Court allows us to proceed with the solicitation of votes on the Plan of Reorganization," commented Jean Fitzgerald, Chairman, President and CEO. "The solicitation package will be mailed later this week to creditors, shareholders and other interested parties, and a confirmation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 1. We are encouraged by developments to date and remain on schedule to emerge from Chapter 11 by year- end or early next year."
As previously announced, the company filed for Chapter 11 protection on September 8, 1999. At that time, the company also entered into a $60 million debtor-in-possession credit facility to provide sufficient liquidity throughout the period of reorganization to fulfill customer contracts and pay employees, vendors and trade creditors.
Under the terms of the Plan of Reorganization, holders of the company's 8 3/8 percent Senior Notes would exchange their Senior Notes for 9,800,000 shares of common stock of the reorganized Hvide Marine, representing 98 percent of the new common equity; holders of the Trust Convertible Preferred Securities would
receive 200,000 shares of common stock of the reorganized Hvide Marine, representing 2 percent of the new common equity, together with warrants to purchase an additional 125,000 shares; and holders of the Common Stock would receive warrants to purchase 125,000 shares of the common stock of the reorganized Hvide Marine. The warrants would be exercisable at $38.49 per share and would have a term of four years.
Completion of the Plan is subject to various conditions, among them obtaining refinancing for the company's bank borrowings, including those under the debtor-in-possession credit facility announced on September 9.
Discussions with potential lenders regarding a refinancing package are ongoing. Completion of the Plan is also subject to confirmation by the Court. With a fleet of 275 vessels, Hvide Marine is one of the world's leading providers of marine support and transportation services, primarily to the energy and chemical industries.