RBL given until June 3 to submit its plans to save NiQuan

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RBL given until June 3 to submit its plans to save NiQuan

Republic Bank has been given until June 3rd, 2024 to submit a financial plan to save the troubled NiQuan Energy (Trinidad) Limited.

The order was handed down by High Court judge Westmin James, during a hearing Friday on the wind-up petition the company.

Republic Bank’s attorney Jonathan Walker, told the judge that the company opposed the winding-up petition filed by Freedom Law Chambers on behalf of NiQuan’s former vice president David Small on the basis that it was a most extreme method for enforcement of a judgment debt.

Republic Bank is the collateral agent under a short-term note instrument (STNI) issued by NiQuan to approximately 20 noteholders from various countries.

Although he conceded that the company is in serious financial difficulties, Walker asked for time to devise a methodology acceptable to the company and/or its creditors, including Small, to avoid the winding up proceedings.

He said this would include a manager going into the company, looking at NiQuan and giving reasons why the debts accumulated. He said the process will involve high-powered and sophisticated negotiations.

Attorneys representing the interests of the secured creditors agreed with Walker’s position. However, Small’s attorneys said they were prepared to submit to the court a draft winding-up order as NiQuan failed to indicate its financial position to support a stay on the winding-up proceedings.

The judge rejected any attempts to remove the fixed trial date on June 25 but gave Walker time to devise a plan to save NiQuan from the wind-up proceedings.

However, if the secured and unsecured creditors of NiQuan, in particular Small, reject or oppose the proposed position, Republic Bank will have to formally put evidence before the court by the filing of affidavits, setting out their reasons for objecting to the winding up of the company by June 14.

Freedom Law Chambers has to reply to the affidavits by June 21.