Committee appointed to restructure Al Jaber debt

Rothschild, ADCB, Union National Bank and PwC among members

Civil and electro-mechanical engineers the Al Jaber Group, has appointed a coordinating committee (CoCom) to restructure its debts.

On April 17 it was announced the National Bank of Abu Dhabi would chair the committee, backed by Rothchild, who advised Dubai World on its debt, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, HSBC, RBS and Union National Bank.

The committee is advised by PwC and international law firm, Allen and Overy. Norton Rose and financial advisors KPMG are also said to have involvement.

“The appointment of the coordinating committee and various advisers will ensure that the rescheduling is conducted in a professional and efficient manner, allowing a timely conclusion to the process,” said Al Jaber group chairman, Obaid Khalifah Al Jaber.

The group has also created an internal ‘reorganisation and steering committee’ (RSC), comprising members of the group’s senior management, together with external advisers. A statement from Al Jaber says the purpose of the RSC is to “manage the restructuring process internally and lead discussion with the coordinating committee”.

The company requested in December that loan terms be altered after it failed to raise finance for some of its projects, which totalled US $4.3 billion. Reports since last month’s announcement claim some assets could be sold, including a heavy lift business in Singapore and some of the group’s property.

The Al Jaber Group 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 2011 and a $400 million (Islamic) Ijara facility expires in April 2013.

A source told Reuters in December that Al Jaber was looking for a 12 month delay on some of its payments.

“The Al Jaber Group continues to have a robust and strong business, and is committed to delivering major infrastructure projects in the region. Al Jaber Group is committed to continuing to work closely with its customers, lenders and suppliers who can be all assured of our best intentions and goodwill,” Khalifa added.

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