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Wed 7 Nov 2012 11:23 AM

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Dana Gas reaches "in principle" sukuk deal

Energy firm is first UAE company to fail to meet bond redemption on US$1bn sukuk

Dana Gas reaches "in principle" sukuk deal
Dana Gas said on Wednesday it reached an "in principle" restructuring agreement with creditors to repay a US$1bn Islamic bond.

Dana Gas, the first UAE company to fail to meet a bond redemption, said on Wednesday it reached an "in principle" restructuring agreement with creditors to repay the US$1bn Islamic bond, or sukuk.

Natural gas producer Dana, headquartered in the emirate of Sharjah, said in a statement that it will cancel US$80m of the Islamic bond currently held by the company and sukuk holders will receive a partial paydown in cash from Dana.

It did not say how much cash it was paying bond holders. The remaining amount of the sukuk will be split between a new ordinary sukuk and a new convertible one with revised economic terms, Dana said. It did not provide additional details.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement, which we believe best preserves the interests of all stakeholders," Dana Chairman Adel Khalid Al-Sabeeh said in the statement.

The company said it had entered into a standstill agreement with the creditors committee. The sukuk matured on October 31. Dana repurchased about US$80m of the sukuk in 2008, leaving US$920m outstanding.

Dana's problems started after the company was hit by payment delays on the gas it supplies to Egypt and Iraq's Kurdistan region. Its shares have slumped on the Abu Dhabi bourse since Reuters reported last week that the company was set to miss the repayment deadline.

The sukuk is said to be held by large investment firms like BlackRock Inc and Ashmore Group.

In a separate statement, the Abu Dhabi bourse halted trading in Dana Gas shares.

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