Drake & Scull founder refutes claims he owes company money

12 July 2018
Dubai-listed contractor earlier confirmed an investigation into financial violations from the previous management

Khaldoun al-Tabari, the founder and former CEO of Dubai-listed Drake & Scull International (DSI), has denied media reports that he or his daughter owe the company any money.

“I refute in the strongest terms any suggestion that I or my daughter owe Drake & Scull International PJSC any money at all, let alone the huge sums mentioned by some media outlets, and any suggestion that the previous management of DSI was guilty of any wrongdoing, impropriety, negligence or incompetence,” he said in a 11 July media statement.

DSI has also responded to the media reports. In a statement to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) earlier that day, it confirmed that there is an ongoing investigation without giving details of the individuals or the sums of money involved. “The company...wishes to confirm the existence of material financial violations from the previous management.

“However in view of the fact that the violations are currently under investigation by the designated authorities in the UAE and in order to preserve the confidentiality of the investigation in accordance with the UAE laws, the Company reiterates that the disclosure of the value of the violations and the individuals under investigation will be subject to coordination with the designated authorities in the UAE and their timely approval in the future.”

Responding to DSI’s statement, Tabari said: “I was given no opportunity to respond to the supposed internal investigation by DSI. I also challenge the statement made today by DSI to the Dubai Financial Market regarding violations under ‘the previous management’.  No such allegations have been put to me.”

DSI’s largest shareholder is Abu Dhabi-based Tabarak Investment. It acquired the majority shares of the company from Al-Tabari in June 2017.

DSI has struggled to maintain profitability in recent years on the back of a region-wide slowdown in construction activity, as governments cut spending to compensate for lower revenues from weaker oil prices. DSI operates in a number of GCC markets including Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In January this year, DSI said it had finished restructuring its corporate general bank debt in the UAE, and secured new credit lines and working capital facilities for the companies new and ongoing projects. The contractor also completed its capital restructuring programme last year.

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