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Kuwait's Dar plans $1.69bn assets sale

Kuwait, February 24, 2011

Kuwait's Investment Dar, owner of half of luxury carmaker Aston Martin, proposed asset sales of about $1.69 billion over three years to creditors to restructure its debt pile, banking sources said Wednesday.

Dar, as part of a $3.58 billion restructuring plan, will sell its stakes in Kuwait's Boubyan Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank.

The 20 percent Boubyan stake, whose ownership is under dispute, is valued at $752 million while its 40 percent Bahrain Islamic stake is worth around $155 million, based on current market capitalization.

Investment group Dar listed its Aston Martin stake as an asset in its restructuring document but did not outline any specific disposal plans, according to the banking sources, who attended the creditor meetings.

The Kuwaiti firm said this month it had reached an agreement with its core committee of banks for a plan that offers full repayment with profit over six to eight years.

Dar outlined its plan to creditors in Dubai and Kuwait this week. The bankers who attended the meeting spoke on condition of anonymity.

The restructuring proposal has not been agreed by Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK), one of Dar's largest creditors, a London-based source said.

CBK and Dar are in litigation over the Boubyan stake which Dar sold to CBK in 2008 to obtain funding, with the right to buy it back. In 2009, CBK said Dar had lost that right and tried to sell the stake on the open market, a move blocked by a Dar-requested court order.

'Boubyan is the most valuable asset they have now and they might need CBK on board if the restructuring has to go through,' the source said.

A spokesman for Investment Dar declined to comment.-Reuters




Tags: Aston Martin | Kuwait Investment Dar |

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