Limitless, a Dubai-based developer, is proposing to pay banks interest in its US$1.2 billion restructuring, reversing its previous refusal, two bankers with knowledge of the matter said.
The company proposed to pay interest at about 175 basis points over the London interbank offered rate under the new terms, one of bankers said, declining to be identified because the matter is private. The developer plans to extend the loan by five years, the bankers said. Limitless is also considering selling some of its assets in Dubai and Russia as part of the restructuring, one of the bankers said.
Lenders will have about one month to approve the new terms, the bankers said. Previously, Limitless had proposed to pay no interest while the loan was extended, two bankers with knowledge of the discussions said August 8.
“Private discussions continue with our lenders,” Limitless said yesterday in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News.
Limitless is one of several companies in Dubai seeking to restructure debt after property prices and asset values slumped in the Arabian Gulf business hub and credit markets froze. Dubai World, one of the three main state-controlled holding companies, reached a deal last March with about 80 banks to delay payments on US$25bn of debt, while Dubai Group is seeking to restructure US$6bn of bank debt.
Limitless, whose projects include the mixed-use Downtown Jebel Ali development in Dubai and another development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, raised the loan in dollars and United Arab Emirates dirhams in 2008 from a group of 18 banks, according to a company statement at the time. Emirates NBD and National Bank of Abu Dhabi helped raise the loan, while Royal Bank of Scotland Group was among the lenders.
In January, the company received a seventh extension on the loan until April. The Islamic loan was originally due to mature in March 2010.
A spokesman for Emirates NBD, the UAE’s biggest bank by assets, couldn’t be reached for comment, while an RBS spokeswoman declined to comment. An official at National Bank of Abu Dhabi said the bank doesn’t comment on client matters. They declined to be identified in line with company policy.