Arabtec Hold­ing said to hire AlixPart­ners for debt ad­vi­sory

Arab News - - Business - Reuters Dubai

Dubai-listed con­trac­tor Arabtec Hold­ing has hired ad­vi­sory firm AlixPart­ners to help it re­struc­ture the com­pany’s debt, two sources fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said.

AlixPart­ners is as­sess­ing the com­pany’s debt pro­file, be­fore any po­ten­tial dis­cus­sions with Arabtec’s cred­i­tors, ac­cord­ing to the sources, who de­clined to be named as the mat­ter is not public. Arabtec did not re­spond to a query for com­ment when con­tacted on Thurs­day. AlixPart­ners de­clined to com­ment. Arabtec Hold­ing is due to hold a share­holder meet­ing on Thurs­day af­ter­noon to de­cide whether to con­tinue oper­at­ing or liq­ui­date and dis­solve the firm af­ter the pan­demic hit projects and led to ad­di­tional costs.

The com­pany, which last month posted a first-half loss of 794 mil­lion dirhams ($216.18 mil­lion) and to­tal ac­cu­mu­lated losses of 1.46 bil­lion dirhams, said on Sept. 9 that it was call­ing a gen­eral assem­bly un­der an ar­ti­cle of UAE com­pany law.

The law re­quires com­pa­nies to vote on whether they should con­tinue oper­at­ing if their ac­cu­mu­lated losses reach half of their is­sued share cap­i­tal.

Shares of Arabtec Hold­ing, which helped to build the Lou­vre Abu Dhabi and the world’s tallest sky­scraper, the Burj Khal­ifa in Dubai, have plunged 56.7 per­cent this year. They were down al­most 5 per­cent when a sus­pen­sion of trad­ing was trig­gered at 1 p.m. lo­cal time ahead of the meet­ing, which was be­ing held in Abu Dhabi.

Sev­eral UAE com­pa­nies have sought to ex­tend debt ma­tu­ri­ties or agree bet­ter terms in re­cent years to avoid de­faults, af­ter an oil price crash hit en­ergy ser­vices and con­struc­tion.

This week, cred­i­tors started to en­force claims against Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group, which has strug­gled since build­ing up debt in the wake of a UAE real es­tate cri­sis and be­gan talks with cred­i­tors in 2011.

Dubai-listed con­struc­tion firm Drake & Scull is work­ing un­der the UAE bank­ruptcy law to reach an agree­ment with its cred­i­tors in an out-of-court process.

AFP

Shares of Arabtec Hold­ing, which helped to build the Lou­vre Abu Dhabi and the world’s tallest sky­scraper, the Burj Khal­ifa in Dubai, right, have plunged 56.7 per­cent this year.

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