Marine seismic company Polarcus is to make all of its employees redundant after lenders gave notice that they will no longer support the company
In late January 2021, Polarcus’ lenders took control of the company’s vessels after Polarcus defaulted on loan and bond repayments. The company has been struggling with growing debt and attempting to restructure for some time.
In a 2 February 2021 statement, Polarcus said lenders have instructed it to sail its vessels to safe locations in order to initiate a sales process.
Polarcus said it will continue to co-operate with the lenders and the new managers of its fleet “to bring current operations safely to an end”.
The company is also communicating with its clients in relation to upcoming contracts for which the vessels will no longer be available.
“In light of these circumstances and given their impact on the group’s financial position, notice of termination of employment will shortly be issued to all group employees,” Polarcus said.
The lenders have made clear that they remain open to discuss a standstill period in relation to their remaining claims and collateral, with the view of finding a solution which would allow the continued operation of the arctic-capable seismic research vessel Vyacheslav Tikhonov, owed by Polarcus Selma Limited, a subsidiary of the company. The lenders do not hold any security in the vessel or this subsidiary.
As highlighted previously by OSJ, after Polarcus defaulted, its lenders took over shares in subsidiaries owning its seismic vessels and replaced directors in each subsidiary.
Its fleet includes seven seismic vessels including two chartered to Russia’s Sovcomflot. Lenders now have control of Polarcus Asima, Polarcus Alima, Polarcus Amani, Polarcus Adira, Polarcus Nadia, Polarcus Naila and Polarcus Shipholding.
The company earlier reported that lenders “have made it clear to the company that their intention is not to jeopardise or destabilise the Polarcus organisation”.
In an earlier statement, the company said lenders also confirmed they were open to entering into a standstill period which would allow continued operations and awarded projects to be undertaken without disruption.
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