McDermott pulls CEO from gas conference after market meltdown

McDermott International Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Dickson abruptly canceled a public appearance for the second time in two weeks as the energy-engineering company grapples with dwindling investor confidence.

Dickson was slated to deliver a presentation Thursday at the Gastech conference in Houston alongside peers from WorleyParsons Ltd. and TechnipFMC Plc. In his stead, McDermott COO Samik Mukherjee joined the panel, spokeswoman Gentry Brann said in an interview.

The shuffle comes amid a meltdown in McDermott’s bonds and shares as the builder of oil platforms and natural gas plants struggles to cope with a $4.3 billion debt hangover from its 2018 purchase of Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. A person familiar with the matter said Wednesday that McDermott hired restructuring firm AlixPartners LLP for strategic and operational advice.

McDermott’s stock has tumbled 72% since Monday’s close. The company’s $2.23 billion term loan due in 2025 fell for a second day to trade around 61 cents to 64 cents on the dollar, according to people familiar with the pricing. In lieu of the conference, Dickson opted to spend the day speaking with customers, Brann said.

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