Dubai contractor gets approval for recapitalisation plan

22 February 2017

The contractor will present the new plan for a shareholders’ vote in April

Arabtec Holding, a Dubai-based construction firm has “in principle” received an approval from the UAE’s market regulator, Commodities and Securities Authority for its recapitalisation programme.

The proposed structure of the new plan is subject to the completion of Arabtec’s 2016 full-year audited financial results and a final approval from the market regulator, it said in a statement to Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded. The company will present the plan for a shareholders vote at the general assembly meeting scheduled to be held in April.

Arabtec, which has helped built the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, aggressively expanded its operations at home and abroad but ran into financial troubles in 2014 after its chief executive and the senior management departed. It was at the heart of a stock market slump and subsequently had to restructure its business to cut cost.

The company has reported a wider fourth-quarter loss on 13 February its board said it is seeking shareholders’ approval for an AED1.5bn ($408.4m) rights issue to recapitalise the company. Arabtec shares have lost more than 35 per cent of their value since that announcement.

Arabtec chairman Mohammed Thani Murshed al-Rumaithi said the new plan is “positive step forward” and the company’s largest stakeholder Aabar Investment, an Abu Dhabi-controlled investment vehicle, is fully committed to subscribing to the rights issue.

With rights issue, price of which has still to be determined, Arabtec’s paid-up capital will rise from current AED4.6bn to AED6.1bn. The company will subsequently will reduce the capital through pro-rata cancellation of shares to cut the entire accumulated losses on the balance sheet, which at the end of last year stood at estimated AED4.6bn and included a loss of AED3.5bn recorded for the financial year 2016.

The losses last year were due to “impairment charges on high-risk items, recurring, non-recurring and operational expenses,” it said in a statement at that time.

According to 22 February bourse filing, based on the 2016 preliminary unaudited results, the capital reduction would be up to 4.5bn shares and key terms of the capitalisation programme will be finalised by the end of March.

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