Sarah Parker Musarra
HAMMERSMITH, UK – Multiple holdings within Ceona are insolvent in their debts under UK law and have gone into administration, the company confirmed via email to Offshore. As part of that process, all affairs, business, and property of the affected holdings are now being managed by joint administrators appointed within business services firm EY.
Following the appointment of these joint administrators, EY said that this will result in 102 redundancies. Of those, 37 will occur offshore, 15 in Aberdeen, 15 in Houston, and 35 in Hammersmith.
Eighteen employees have been retained by the group in Hammersmith, Houston, and Aberdeen to assist the joint administrators while they survey the group’s assets. EY said that it intended to take steps to sell Ceona’s deepwater flagship vessel Ceona Amazon and other assets.
On a statement posted to Ceona’s website dated Sept. 16, the company said that the appointment was made by the companies' directors under the provisions of paragraph 22(2) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986. Included in the proceedings are Ceona Ship Holdings Ltd., Ceona Ship 1 Ltd., Ceona Equipment Limited, Ceona Services (UK) Ltd., Ceona Chartering (UK) Ltd., Ceona Contracting (UK) Ltd., and Ceona Investments Ltd.
Ceona Pte. Ltd., OIG Giant I Pte. Ltd., and OIG Giant II Pte. Ltd. are not in an insolvency process and will continue to operate.
“In the period leading up to the administration, the group’s cash flows came under significant strain due to falling demand for the group’s services as a result of the depressed market conditions and ongoing investment in the group’s fleet,” said Alan Bloom, joint administrator of the UK group companies.
“Despite attempts to restructure the group it was unable to achieve a turnaround on a solvent basis and the group was therefore placed into administration by the directors.”
This decision closely follows the news that CG Rieber Shipping was terminating its March 2014 agreement with Ceona for a five-year charter of its Polar Onyx subsea vessel “by reason of Ceona’s default.”
CG Rieber said that Ceona has provided a cash deposit in a Norwegian bank that was equivalent to nine month’s work for the fulfilment of Ceona’s obligations under its charter agreement. The Bergen-based CG Rieber said at that time that it would seek to recover outstanding and future claims and losses through the established cash deposit, and would seek to recover excess amounts through Ceona.