DOF’s second-biggest shareholder has resigned as a director following weeks of turmoil in which a vital negotiated refinancing deal with lenders was rejected.

The Oslo-listed offshore support vessel group said it has been told that Bjarte Brondmo has quit “on his own initiative”.

The shipowner added that it remains in compliance with its articles of association and no meeting will be held to vote in another director.

DOF is undergoing a court-led restructuring after Brondmo led a group of rebel shareholders in voting down a $2.25bn debt reorganisation that involved a debt-for-equity swap.

Brondmo has made no comment and his reasons for stepping down are not clear, but it may be he feels his work is now done.

Tore Grottum, who works with Brondmo, remains on the board, along with chairman Leif Salomonsen, a restructuring expert, investment banker Beatriz Malo de Molina and offshore shipping director Merete Haugli.

Brondmo holds 5.4% of DOF, second only to shipping tycoon Helge Mogster on 32%.

The rebel shareholders replaced the previous board in December.

Lenders including DNB, ABN Amro, Danske Bank and Deutsche Bank have indicated the court process will continue despite the actions of the rebel group.

The negotiated settlement would have left shareholders with 4% of DOF. The court plan will leave them with just 1%.

Examining the books

If this fails, bankruptcy is the only other option.

The new board has been examining the books to determine the best way forward, but has yet to propose an alternative plan.

The rebels believe there is no reason to restructure the debt and wipe out shareholders in improving offshore markets. They also argue that the fleet is greatly undervalued.

Banks and bondholders had already warned that the time for talking was over, but they have not explicitly ruled out considering any new proposal from the board.