Cayman Islands

A Cayman Island mutual fund whose manager was charged in a $100 million bait-and-switch scheme filed for chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. to protect its assets from lawsuits by disgruntled investors, Bloomberg News reported. Representatives of the so-called Income Collecting 1-3 Months T-Bills Mutual Fund asked a federal bankruptcy judge in New York on Friday to recognize their efforts to liquidate the company, which they said would include an attempt to pay back investors. Recognition of the foreign liquidation would put a hold on any lawsuits against the fund.
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Beleaguered rich-lister Eric Watson will likely remain embroiled in courts for years — and faces the possibility of a tax bill of $200m when penalties are added — after a landmark court decision yesterday saw his businesses ruled to have engaged in $51.5m in tax avoidance, The New Zealand Herald reported. Justice Matthew Palmer said a complex 2002 transaction — involving Cayman Island companies while Watson himself was relocating from New Zealand to the UK for tax purposes — was an avoidance arrangement. The case is one of the largest tax judgments in New Zealand history.

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Offshore oil rig operator Vantage Drilling International agreed to disgorge $5 million in a settlement with U.S. regulators related to a corruption probe in Brazil involving Petrobras, The Wall Street Journal reported. Vantage Drilling, based in the Cayman Islands, settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over accounting-control deficiencies at its predecessor company that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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International offshore driller Ocean RIG UDW Inc filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court late Monday, hit by cancellations as major oil producing customers withdrew from deep water projects amid falling oil prices, Reuters reported. The Cayman Islands holding company, which spent heavily on new drill ships earlier in the decade, said lower oil prices will continue to weigh on client demand during 2017. More than half of its drilling units are currently inactive. In a filing with the U.S.
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Two Platinum Partners hedge funds have sought U.S. Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection as part of an ongoing liquidation effort, according to court documents filed in New York federal court Tuesday. In August, a Cayman Islands court ordered that an outside expert unwind the so-called offshore versions of its flagship hedge fund, Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage, which, along with the firm, is also being investigated by U.S. authorities. That liquidator, RHSW Caribbean, filed the Chapter 15 bankruptcy petition which seeks to protect Platinum's U.S.
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Worldview Capital, the dissident shareholder in Petroceltic International that has battled its board for more than a year, has emerged in prime position to gain control of the troubled exploration company after doing a deal with its banks to buy a majority of its $232 million debts, the Irish Times reported. The Cayman Islands-registered fund, run by former investment banker Angelo Moskov, has told the stock market it bought has 69.44 per cent of the senior debt at at “a significant discount to face value”.
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Offshore driller Vantage Drilling Co said it reached a support agreement with lenders and noteholders holding more than $1.6 billion in debt to reduce interest expense but one of its units will file for U.S. bankruptcy on Dec. 3. The agreement and bankruptcy will help its subsidiary Offshore Group Investment Ltd to ride out a downturn in the energy sector. The company said the deal with lenders calls for deleveraging the unit, which holds the contracts for some of its rigs.
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The drawn-out period of forbearance agreements between LDK Solar and US bondholders looks over and the heavily indebted PV manufacturer could start insolvency proceedings in the Cayman Islands should bondholders not agree on a settlement, PV-Tech reported. LDK Solar said that it had made considerable progress with its key offshore creditors in line with two options, both proving hard for creditors of its convertible notes to bear. The company said that it remained optimistic about reaching a settlement in the next few days.
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Insolvency petition filings in the Cayman Islands spiked more than 30 per cent in 2013 when compared with 2012, resulting in the highest number of filings in the past three years, according to Appleby, Hedgeweek reported. The increase reversed a downward trend in the number of petitions filed in 2011 and 2012 that had followed high numbers in 2009 and 2010 driven by the global financial crisis, according to the firm’s Snapshot report on petition filings in the Cayman Islands going back to 2008.
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The Cayman Islands are poised to break with decades of secrecy by opening thousands of companies and hedge funds domiciled on the offshore Caribbean territory to greater scrutiny. The British overseas territory, which wants to shed its reputation for clandestine financial activity, is introducing sweeping reforms that will make public the names of thousands of previously hidden companies and their directors.
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