Noble Group Braces for First Bond Default as Pressure Mounts

Noble Group Ltd. is racing against time to garner enough votes for a debt restructuring plan after its decision not to pay a $379 million bond due Tuesday sets it on course for its first note default, Bloomberg News reported. The failed payment is set to prompt an “event of default” under the terms of its bond documents. The company has opted for non-payment to preserve assets “for the benefit of all stakeholders during the implementation of the proposed restructuring,” it said in a filing Friday. The move will likely trigger payouts on credit default swap contracts tied to Noble and cross defaults on its other debts too, according to law firm Eversheds Sutherland. The upcoming default is the latest development a closely watched drama that began in 2015 when then-unknown Iceberg Research started publishing critiques of the Hong Kong-based trading house’s accounting. Diminished to a shadow of its former self, battered by trading losses and massive writedowns, the commodities trader is working on a $3.5 billion restructuring deal to ensure survival. Read more.