Date: March 14, 2018
SIAS welcomes the recent Notice of Compliance by SGX requiring Noble Group to appoint an independent financial advisor (IFA). The report will certainly help provide guidance to shareholders and noteholders of Noble Group. Nevertheless, SIAS takes the view that the independence of the IFA is paramount, for this review to be credible and fair to all stakeholders. In particular, focus must be placed on appropriateness and extent of the scope to adapt to Singapore requirements and to address minority shareholder protection.
Additionally, Paul Brough as Executive Chairman, Richard Elman as Chairman Emeritus and Will Randall, CEO are non-independent executive directors and beneficiaries of the questionable remuneration packages in FY2017, despite Noble reporting US$2.15 billion in exceptional losses. They, surely, should not be involved in the appointment and workings of the IFA.
Finally, shareholders and noteholders are of the view that management, who had been instrumental for Noble’s huge losses, should also not be beneficiaries of the restructuring, at the expense of other minority stakeholders, including shareholders and perps. SIAS expects Noble’s board to do the right thing.
President & CEO
Securities Investors Association (Singapore)