Dubai's Atlas Group claims it will clear its debts

Group's owner was detained last month on allegations of bouncing cheques worth nearly $15m
Dubai's Atlas Group claims it will clear its debts
Image for illustrative purpose only (Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Thu 03 Sep 2015 12:20 PM

Dubai's Atlas Group, whose owner was detained on allegations of bouncing cheques worth AED55 million ($14.9 million), is determined to clear its debts, even if it has to mortgage its properties in the GCC countries or sell some of its assets, a company spokesperson has said.

M.M. Ramachandran, the jewellery firm's owner, was detained on August 23 after a number of complaints were lodged by the company's lenders. The cases against Ramachandran and his daughter, who was also detained on August 23 on charges related to different bounced cheques, are expected to start in two weeks, according to local UAE media.

Shyam Mohan, head of communications at Atlas Jewellery, told the Times of Oman the firm is “in talks with banks [and] our chairman has assured that all dues will be cleared even if we have to mortgage our properties in the GCC countries. We have hired a consultant group to resolve the issue. They are looking for options.”

Representatives of the group, led by Indira Ramachandran – wife of the owner - met with 20 creditor banks to discuss repayment options. It was agreed that the lenders would be presented with a comprehensive financial report on all its assets in the region, according to Khaleej Times.

Mohan told the newspaper that the sale of the group’s assets would also be under consideration.

“We are in the process of chalking out a repayment plan that involves the sale of our assets,” he said.

“We have built our goodwill over the years, and we are determined to leave no stones unturned to come out clean of the current crisis. Our relationships with most of our lenders are time-tested and enduring. We look forward to maintaining it that way," Mohan added.

Atlas Jewellery, founded by Ramachandran in Kuwait in 1981 but forced to relocate to Dubai after its trading was suspended by the first Gulf War, also has interests in real estate and healthcare. It owns and manages two hospitals in Oman's capital, Muscat.

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