Dubai World Restructure

by Noni Edwards
(originally written for Emirates News 25/3/10)

The Dubai Government will invest $9.5 billion to recapitalise state-conglomerate Dubai World, as part of a comprehensive restructure proposal. The Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Fiscal Committee, His Highness Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, released the details  today.

Sheikh Ahmad explained that the restructuring of Dubai World and Nakheel is designed to put both companies on a sound financial footing and allow them to realise the full potential of their underlying businesses.

This stability will be provided by the Dubai Government, acting through the Dubai Financial Support Fund, in the form of a commitment to provide up to $9.5 billion in new funding. This Support Fund provided significant assistance to both companies last year, providing interest payments and money for working capital expenses, as well as Nakheel’s December payment on its sukuk (Islmaic loan instrument).

The $9.5 billion will be comprised of an amount of $5.7 billion that remains from a loan previously made available from the Government of Abu Dhabi. The remainder will come from internal Dubai Government resources.

Dubai World has been in discussion with its lenders and has formulated a proposal to creditors for the restructure of its loans. In a statement, the company says “the Government is offering to recapitalise Dubai World through the equitisation of the Government’s $8.9 billion claim including a commitment of up to $1.5 billion in new funds.”

Sheikh Ahmad explains that the businesses that make up Dubai World are important components for the future economic growth and prosperity of the Emirate of Dubai and the UAE.

He says the restructure will allow the conglomerate to focus on its core holdings and to manage and realise full value from its assets.

In relation to the Nakheel proposal, he says, “bank creditors will be asked to restructure their debt at commercial rates.”

“Trade creditors will be offered a significant cash payment shortly and a tradable security and if the deal is accepted.

The 2010 and 2011 Nakheel sukuk will be paid just as the 2009 sukuk payment was last December.

The Government is offering to inject approximately $8 billion in new funds into Nakheel which it says, will have a significant direct impact on the construction and real estate sectors and the wider economy.  Nakheel will recapitalise through the equitisation of the Government’s $1.2 billion.

The proposal was overseen by a chief restructuring officer appointed in November 2009 and is based on a comprehensive analysis of the circumstances facing each company.

It was prepared to serve the interests of all stakeholders, including customers, contractors, employees and creditors.

The Chairman says the next steps involve detailed discussions between Dubai World and Nakheel, and their creditors.

The two companies will present revised business plans, which take into account the current business environment and reflect the new direction being given to both companies.

The restructuring process is expected to take several months to implement and in that time, the government will keep the Tribunal available to protect the companies, their creditors and other stakeholders.

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