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Wed 28 Sep 2011 11:50 AM

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Damas signs deal to recover $337m in payments

Dubai jewellery firm is owed $167.2m from three members of its founding family

Damas signs deal to recover $337m in payments

Troubled jewellery firm Damas International said Wednesday
it had signed several agreements to recover more than AED337m ($91.8m) in
outstanding payments.

“We have created a taskforce to focus on financial
recoveries for the company,” chief executive officer Anan Fakhreddin said in a
statement to Nasdaq Dubai.

“This is a positive step in our ongoing restructuring and we
are ensuring that we allocate sufficient resources to recover outstanding dues
owed to us.”

The Dubai-based jewellery retailer, which is owed $167.2m in
unauthorised transactions from three members of its founding family, said in
May it was confident it would be able to meet its debt obligations.

Damas is expected to receive payment from its founding
Abdullah brothers, who withdrew $167.2m in cash and gold without shareholder
approval, within three years via a cascade agreement.

The cascade agreement, which allows for the liquidation of
assets belonging to the brothers, would focus mainly on the sale and
appreciation of UAE-based real estate.

Damas said in March it had reached a final agreement with
all 25 of its lenders and completed the restructuring of its $872m debt.

In May, Damas announced it had acquired a controlling stake
in its joint venture operation Damas Kuwait. The news came weeks after the
retailer increased its stake in its Saudi joint venture to 98 percent for an
undisclosed sum.

The jewellery firm in July posted a net profit of AED53.3
million for the financial year to the end of March, following a loss of AED2bn
in the previous financial year.

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