Wednesday 16 January 2019

UAE group Al Jaber to raise $1.6bn from asset sale

ABU DHABI, July 4, 2016

Al Jaber Group, a family-owned business in Abu Dhabi, UAE, has almost doubled the amount of cash it intends to raise from asset sales including real estate and shares under a new debt repayment plan it offered to creditors, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The group, with interests spanning construction, engineering and shipping, plans to raise Dh5.2 billion ($1.4 billion) by selling assets including real estate and shares by March 2018, compared with Dh2.75 billion ($748 million) proposed earlier, the sources told Bloomberg, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Al Jaber will now need to get an additional Dh3.9 billion ($1.06 billion) after already raising Dh1.3 billion ($353 million) from previous sales, it said in its presentation to creditors last week, according to the sources.

Al Jaber is among several UAE businesses that sought to restructure liabilities after the global financial crisis in 2008 led to a crash in property prices.

The company signed a debt-restructuring agreement with banks in June 2014 after being in negotiations for about four years, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Abu Dhabi’s economic growth will slow to 1.5 per cent this year, from 4.3 per cent in 2015, according to the International Monetary Fund, after oil prices sank more than 50 per cent in two years.

The new plan includes raising Dh1.5 billion ($408 million) by the end of the year, Dh600 million ($163 million) of which will be used to repay debt and for working capital, the people said.

The company will use an additional Dh650 million ($177 million) to repay creditors who want to exit at about 50 cents to dollar, and the maturity of the remaining debt would be extended to 2024, they said.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, First Gulf Bank and Union National Bank, which hold about 50 per cent of Al Jaber’s $1.6 billion debt, agreed to the debt plan, said the people.

Creditors had declined Al Jaber’s request earlier this year for a 12-month break in interest payments and had asked it to enhance asset sales to meet debt obligations.-Bloomberg

Tags: Construction | engineering | Al Jaber Group | debt deal |

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