Al Jaber and creditors meet on restructuring
Abu Dhabi, July 20, 2011
Abu Dhabi's Al Jaber Group held an all-lender meeting on Wednesday to discuss the contracting firm's debt restructuring, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Al Jaber set up a banks' committee earlier this year to map out debt restructuring after it announced talks with lenders to discuss the terms of its facilities.
As part of Wednesday's meeting, Al Jaber's creditors were shown the draft standstill proposal, and the core committee of lenders made a presentation, a company source told Reuters, adding no resolution was sought at the meeting.
"A meeting between the company and its creditors has taken place to discuss a number of issues, including a draft standstill proposal and the likely process over the next few months," the source said.
The banks' committee is chaired by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi , and includes Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, HSBC, RBS and Union National Bank.
Al Jaber is one of the most prominent private sector family-owned firms in Abu Dhabi, where the acknowledgment of financial difficulties has been minimal, in contrast to neighbouring Dubai, under the spotlight for its debt woes since late 2009.
A unanimous agreement on a debt standstill is unlikely ahead of the Holy month of Ramadan which this year coincides with the onset of summer leave in much of Europe during August. But it is an important step in the larger restructuring process, although a final deal is still considered far off.
Al Jaber currently has $840 million in two syndicated facilities outstanding as well as bilateral loans. A $440 million five-year term syndicated loan is due to mature in September and a $400 million (Islamic) ijara facility expires in April 2013. - Reuters