Genting Group patriarch Lim Kok Thay has stepped down as Chairman, CEO and Executive Director of embattled cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong.
According to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange announcement, Lim tendered his resignation on Friday – the same day a Bermuda court appointed joint provisional liquidators to oversee a proposed restructuring of the company’s massive debts.
Lim, who remains Chairman and CEO of Genting Berhad, Genting Malaysia and Genting Singapore, holds a personal 76% stake in the cruise ship operator.
Also resigning on Friday was Genting Hong Kong’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Group President and Executive Director, Colin Au.
The departure of Lim and Au leaves just a single representative on the company’s Board of Directors, Chief Financial Officer Chris Chan Kam Hing, with three independent non-executive directors, Alan Smith, Ambrose Lam Wai Hon and Justin Tan Wah Joo having already stepped down last week.
Genting Hong Kong had announced on Friday that it was seeking the assistance of the provisional liquidators in developing a restructuring proposal in respect of the company’s debts, which include almost US$2.8 billion that formed part of financing arrangements reached with creditors in June last year.
Those agreements followed the group’s announcement in August 2020 that it was suspending all payments to financial creditors in order to preserve liquidity due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its businesses.
However, with the pandemic still raging, Genting Hong Kong revealed earlier this month that it was in danger of defaulting on its loans after failing to drawdown a US$88 million backstop facility from the State of Mecklenburg Vorpommern for the continued operation of its Germany shipbuilding subsidiary, MV Werften Holdings Ltd (MVWH).
With MV Werften having already filed for insolvency since, Genting Hong Kong said Friday that the appointment of the joint provisional liquidators would see them given “extensive executive powers” over the company.
If no compromise or arrangement with creditors can be reached, the liquidators will be “authorised to dispose of all or certain of the company’s assets with a view to maximising value and returns for creditors of the company.”
Trading of the Genting Hong Kong shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchanges remains suspended.