Dubai Holding is planning to ring-fence its bond debt as part of a restructuring of the firm’s debts, according to sources close to the situation.

The move is part of plans by the company to restructure several billion dollars of debt on the firm’s two subsidiaries Dubai International Capital (DIC) and Dubai Group. Sources say that talks between the companies and their lenders have already begun.

The plan will involve Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, continuing to pay interest costs and the final repayment on bonds due in July 2011 and February 2012.

Selected Dubai debt obligations
Issuer Maturity date Amount ($m) Type
Nakheel 13 May 2010 980 sukuk
Dubai World 23 June 2010 2100 loan
Dubai International Capital 27 June 2010 1683 loan
Dubai Aerospace 31 jun 20110 1539 loan
ports Customs & Free Zone World 22 March 2011 6800 loan
Emirates Airline 24 March 2011 500 bond
Tamweel 15 May 2011 235 loan
Dubai World 24 June 2011 1950 loan
Ports, Customs & Free Zone World 10 July 2011 1000 loan
Dubai Aerospace 23 July 2011 1000 loan
Investment Corporation of Dubai 21 August 2011 6000 loan
Source: Standard & Poor’s

DIC is talking to its banks about restructuring loans including a $1.25bn loan due in June, and the company is understood to have a total of $2.5bn in loans that will need to be restructured. Dubai Group is thought to have several billion dollars of loan restructuring.

The restructuring plan would echo that of Dubai World, which is in the process of renegotiating $23.5bn of debt. As part of the Dubai World plan the outstanding bonds on property subsidiary Nakheel would be paid off as they become due, while bank loans are extended for five or eight years. Dubai World is approaching a final settlement with its bank creditors, and is also awaiting a response from trade creditors to its offer to repay them with 40 per cent of their outstanding bills in cash and the rest in a sukuk that will be issued once creditor approval for the deal reaches 95 per cent.

“The Dubai Holding deal is positive for bonds,” a London-based banker says. “Clearly they don’t want to take on the bond holders as those negotiations would be too troublesome.”

The total debt on Dubai Holding, which is majority-owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is estimated at around $12bn.

A Dubai-based source says, “Talks on the bank loans for Dubai Holding and its subsidiaries have been ongoing for some time.”

The most pressing loans for Dubai Holding is the $1.25bn DIC loan and a $555m loan for Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group.

According to reports, Dubai Holding and its subsidiaries have appointed several advisers to help its restructuring including the US’ Deloitte, UK’s PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Netherlands’ KPMG accountancy firms, and US investment bank Lazard. Dubai Holding did not respond to requests to comment.