May 26, 2022

Court removes KPMG as provisional liquidators for Pacific Andes – next hearing Cayman Islands

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By Tom Searman Undercurrentnews

Hong Kong’s High Court has removed KPMG as provisional liquidators of Pacific Andes International Holdings subsidiary China Fishery Group, sources told Undercurrent News.

This removal of KPMG, who were appointed after a filing from lender HSBC, means management will be able to proceed with the planned sale of the company’s assets in Peru, said to be attracting interest from Chinese parties, sources said.

HSBC is already in the process of appealing, according to an article from financial news service Debtwire seen by Undercurrent.

A Pacific Andes spokesman could not be reached for comment to Undercurrent.

Edward Middleton, one of the KPMG executives appointed as provisional liquidators, also could not be reached for comment.

A spokesman for HSBC declined to comment.

The hearing was supposed to be over Dec. 30-31, but was extended over Jan. 4-5, a source told Undercurrent.

HSBC, a lender to China Fishery, filed a petition to wind up China Fishery and China Fishery International Limited (CFIL) in Hong Kong and Cayman Islands courts at the end of November. At the time, the court appointed KPMG as the provisional liquidator.

“To make sure the assets are well preserved, the jurisdiction requires an appointment of PL [provisional liquidator] who would run the company to protect stakeholders’ interests,” one source following the process closely told Undercurrent. “But, the court this afternoon decided it is not necessary.”

Another hearing will take place in the Cayman Islands, where CFIL is based, on Friday, Jan. 8.

After that, there is a court hearing on Jan. 27 in Hong Kong, to consider HSBC’s winding up petition. Since the provisional liquidation petition has already been struck out, a wind up is unlikely,” the source told Undercurrent.

On Dec. 31, PAIH announced the execution of a deed of undertaking in favor of a majority of club lenders and the Hong Kong court, in exchange for support for its application to oppose HSBC’s petition and the appointment of KPMG.

In the statement, it is said that, in consideration of the undertakings provided by Pacific Andes, each of the majority club lenders support the removal of the provisional liquidators at the hearing before the court on Dec. 30.

Also, the majority club lenders support the dismissal of the winding up petition at the subsequent hearing on Jan. 27, 2016; and also the dismissal of the winding up petition before the Grand Court of Cayman on Jan. 8.

According to the Debt Wire article, part of this agreement stipulates that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) would be appointed as monitoring and reporting accountant for China Fishery. PwC will likely be appointed in that role for the entire Pacific Andes group, two sources told Debtwire, according to the article.

In the statement, Pacific Andes also said it received offers for its Peruvian assets, which are involved in harvesting anchovy and processing it into fishmeal and fish oil, which value the business at $1.7 billion.

The company said its board of directors believes it is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders that it enters into the deed so it can continue the sales process for the Peruvian operations, which consist of Copeinca and the assets the company owned before buying the former. China Fishery bought Copeinca for around $800m in 2013.

The removal of the provisional liquidators and the management being involved in the sale process will secure the best possible value for the disposal of the Peruvian business, the company said.

IMAGE: Fishing for anchovies, Peru. Photo: Copeinca

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