Abu Dhabi conglomerate Al Jaber Group, in talks to restructure over $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) in debt, is close to reaching a standstill agreement with its core lenders, the company said.
Al Jaber set up a banks' committee earlier this year to thrash out restructuring after it announced talks with lenders to discuss the terms of its facilities.
Sources at creditor banks had said the company and its lender committee of five banks had been locked in discussions on a standstill agreement, and are awaiting an announcement imminently. "The group confirms that it is continuing to move forward with its plans to reschedule its borrowings," Al Jaber said in an emailed statement.
"As part of this process the group and the CoCom [core committee] are finalising a proposed standstill agreement which is to be presented to the Group's creditor banks in due course."
The banks' committee is chaired by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, and includes Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, HSBC, RBS and Union National Bank.
A source familiar with the talks told Reuters in December that Al Jaber was seeking a one-year delay in repayment.
"A restructuring is a long way down the line for them ... at first they will need to agree on a standstill agreement, which usually assists the lenders in getting a lot of extra information on the company and its projects," another source familiar with restructurings said.
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.
From / Gulf News