Zim Integrated Shipping Services failed to meet a Dec. 31, 2011, deadline to obtain concessions or amendments to financial covenants with its creditor banks, the Israeli ocean carrier’s parent said.
As a result, Israel Corp. may have to record Zim’s debt on its balance sheet as short term debt for the fourth quarter of 2011, which in theory means the shipping operation could be liable for repayment immediately rather than over the long term.
The change in the status of the debt is technical, but it could affect Israel Corp.’s financial ratios and financial covenants with its own banks, according to Israeli reports.
Zim has no financial covenants that are based on classifying debt as short term or long term, Israel Corp. said in a statement to the Tel Aviv stock exchange.
Zim is believed to owe around $2 billion, mainly to foreign banks.
Zim swung to a $66 million net loss in the third quarter of 2011 from a year-earlier profit of $37 million, swelling losses for the first nine months to $245 million, compared with a $42 million loss in the 2010 period.
Israel Corp, which owns more than 99 percent of Zim, injected $50 million into the carrier in November, and the controlling Ofer family provided an additional $50 million. Israel Corp contributed $450 million to the carrier’s restructuring in 2009.