Oceania

Next year is going to be a "watershed year" for business failures an insolvency expert is predicting, unless companies can come up with a plan now to get out of debt and survive, the New Zealand Herald reported. John Fisk, national leader of restructuring for PwC and chair of the Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association New Zealand, said that insolvency applications had come down significantly under lockdown but massive amounts of government subsidies meant many businesses weren't addressing the underlying issues related to debt.

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Seafolly Pty Ltd, an Australian swimsuit maker part-owned by French fashion giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, appointed administrators on Monday citing a sales downturn from the coronavirus, the latest casualty of the health crisis in the country’s retail sector, Reuters reported. “Seafolly made the appointment because of the crippling financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Scott Langdon and Rahul Goyal, of KordaMentha Restructuring, in a statement.

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Australian-listed oil and gas company FAR Ltd said on Wednesday its Senegalese unit had defaulted on its obligations to the Sangomar joint venture, as the company looked to sell its interest in the project, Reuters reported. The company owns 15% of the Sangomar oil and gas field being developed off Senegal, while Cairn Energy holds 40%, Australia’s Woodside 35%, and Senegal’s national oil company Petrosen 10%, which it has the right to increase to 18%.

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Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd bondholders are working on a revival plan for the airline involving a debt-to-equity swap if they are not satisfied with a sale offer, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, Reuters reported. Binding bids from finalists Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners were due on Monday for Australia’s second-biggest airline, which entered voluntary administration in April and owes nearly A$7 billion to creditors.

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Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd’s administrator has given final bidders Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners until June 22 to lodge binding offers, an extension of 10 days from the original date, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The additional time will allow the bidders to refine their final offers, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity, adding that the administrator, Deloitte, was still seeking a binding deal with the winner by June 30. Virgin owed creditors nearly A$7 billion ($4.86 billion) when it entered voluntary administration in April, with its

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Clive Palmer's failed Queensland Nickel refinery was insolvent in the days before administrators were called in, a judge has found. But Justice Debra Mullins dismissed the liquidators' claim against Mr Palmer's flagship company Mineralogy, worth more than $100 million, the ABC reported. The judgment follows a mammoth Supreme Court civil trial into Queensland Nickel's (QNI) 2016 collapse, which left 800 people out of work. "This judgment vindicates my faith in the judicial system in Queensland," Mr Palmer said.

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New Zealand’s central bank warned that the coronavirus pandemic presents a significant challenge to the country’s financial institutions, which could be stressed by failing businesses and loan defaults, Bloomberg News reported. While the financial system entered the crisis in good shape, “it’s capacity to absorb shocks is not unlimited,” the Reserve Bank said in its semi-annual Financial Stability Report published Wednesday in Wellington.

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Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd’s administrators have halted payments to bondholders and appointed Morgan Stanley to help sell the airline within four months, said a participant in a meeting of creditors owed nearly A$7 billion ($4.58 billion), Reuters reported. Administrators from Deloitte Australia were appointed this month to restructure and sell Virgin, making it the Asia-Pacific airline industry’s biggest victim of the coronavirus crisis.

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International law firm Hogan Lovells is holding discussions with some bondholders of distressed airline carrier Virgin Australia, ahead of a first creditors meeting set for Thursday, Bloomberg News reported. Virgin Australia became Asia’s first airline to fall amid the coronavirus pandemic when it was placed under voluntary administration last week. With total debt of about A$6.84 billion ($4.4 billion) and more than 10,000 creditors, it’s one of Australia’s most high-profile debt restructurings.

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