A group of four banks have accepted an offer from Dubai Group to be paid off at deep discounts in a move that will help get the company’s wider $10bn restructuring back on track.
The UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland, South Africa’s Standard Bank, Germany’s Commerzbank and Commercial International Bank Egypt are the only banks to accept an offer of upfront repayment of 18.5 per cent of their outstanding loans to Dubai Group.
The offer was made to the four banks to stop them pursuing litigation against Dubai Group for defaulting on its debts. The same deal was also offered to the company’s other lenders, although sources close to the process say none of the other banks accepted the terms.
Instead, the remaining banks will hang on in the hope of being paid off after 12 years as part of a separate longer-term restructuring that Dubai Group is aiming to conclude in the next few months. “The only obstacle to completing the restructuring was the litigation by the other banks, so now that issue has been settled progress on getting the wider restructuring can resume,” says one banker involved in the negotiations.
Dubai Group’s debts are split between around $4bn of shareholder loans, and the rest is owed to banks.