SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – ZenRock Commodities Trading and Agritrade International could be wound up, as their respective judicial managers have filed applications to have them liquidated.

Separately, Hontop Energy (Singapore) has been placed under judicial management.

Judicial managers for oil trader ZenRock made the winding-up application on Aug 25. In July, the debt-laden firm was placed under judicial management, a form of debt restructuring that involves an independent party manage the company’s affairs.

ZenRock’s judicial managers from KPMG had said then that there was value in placing the firm under judicial management, albeit for a relatively short period of time, during which they could also complete an inventory sale and review contract feasibility. They may also consider a proposed management buyout of a new unit ZenRock Europe set up by Mark Papallo, who owns 15 per cent of the Geneva-based entity.

ZenRock owes HSBC about US$49 million (S$67 million), while its total debt to banks is understood to stand at around US$165 million. The oil trader is also being investigated by Singapore’s white-collar crime buster, the Commercial Affairs Department.

Commodity trader Agritrade, incorporated in 1979, is facing the same fate after its judicial managers from Ernst & Young applied in early September to wind it up. Agritrade is said to owe some US$1.55 billion.

The court will hear the application for Agritrade on Sept 21, and that for ZenRock a week later on Sept 28.

Meanwhile, Hontop Energy, an oil trader linked to a Chinese refiner, was placed under judicial management on Sept 7. It is now being taken care of by RSM Corporate Advisory.