Sidley aims to keep Sea Containers afloat

Sidley Austin has been brought in to advise troubled transport group Sea Containers on its restructuring.

The London and US offices of the firm are acting for Sea Containers as the group struggles to stay afloat.

Last month the company admitted that its accounts would pour doubt on its ability to remain a going concern. Sea Containers has a debt burden of around $1.3bn (£700m). It has also been forced to pay around $15m (£8.1m) to GE Capital in order to settle a legal dispute. It is understood that Appleby Spurling Hunter is also acting for Sea Containers.

The Bermuda-based rail and maritime organisation is planning a financial restructuring, including the sale of some assets in order to reduce its debt burden.

As part of the restructuring, Sea Containers has hired Société Générale to sell off its ferry business Silja. It is understood the sale could net the company around $500m (£268.3m).

The company is also planning to sell off other assets, leaving its container leasing businesses and its GNER east coast mainline franchise.

Sea Containers’ interests include companies as diverse as a publishing arm and plantations in the Ivory Coast and Brazil.

Sidley is also assisting on the reorganisations of Federal Mogul, one of the largest and longest-lasting reorganisations to date, and the landmark restructuring of Brac Rent-A-Car, which gave UK courts jurisdiction over US-registered companies in Chapter 11 for the first time.