Judge gives chance to stricken arm of UDL

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 December, 1998, 12:00am


Hong Kong's company judge refused to wind up a subsidiary of troubled marine and civil engineering company UDL Holdings yesterday, saying: 'I'm going to give this company a chance.' The temporary reprieve hinges, however, on a restructuring plan devised by the holding company itself, set to fight a winding-up order in the new year.

Mrs Justice Doreen Le Pichon cited support by creditors for the parent in deferring a bid to wind up subsidiary UDL Kenworth Engineering.

The option of restructuring gave creditors the chance to decide if they would be 'worse off killing the company', the Court of First Instance heard.

This usually would involve someone else injecting capital to enable it to continue and wait for economic conditions to improve, 'rather than winding it up now and putting more people out of work'.

'There is clearly a chance of the holding company being restructured. There is a sense of support,' she said.

UDL Holdings has declined to elaborate on the restructuring proposal, saying: 'We will make an announcement or give more details when it's ready.' UDL and Kenworth reported a joint $2.05 billion attributable loss in the year to March 31.

Yesterday, the courtroom was packed to capacity with concerned creditors.

The judge adjourned all UDL matters to be heard until January 11. A petition to wind up UDL Holdings, filed by creditor Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, will be heard on this date.