Dubai World is embroiled in a legal row over the sale of its stake in Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront shopping mall, as part of a deal valued at $1.33bn, it was reported Thursday.
The state-owned conglomerate, which has restructured about $24.9bn of debt, is being sued by a Cape Town businessman for failing to pay advisory, consulting and broking fees, Independent Online reported.
The fees are allegedly owed by Dubai World and the new joint owners of the V&A Waterfront, real-estate investor Growthpoint and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC).
Neill Bernstein, the founder and president of New York-based property company Devland Holdings, told the paper a high court application was “ready and pending”.
Dubai World’s in-house counsel had responded to a letter of demand by saying “bring it on and we’ll see you”, Bernstein said.
The businessman said he would ask for Dubai World to put up $36m in security should the court case proceed and claimed the company was technically insolvent.
The V&A, which surrounds Cape Town’s harbor and has shops, hotels, restaurants, offices and an aquarium, is Cape Town’s biggest tourist draw, attracting up to 21 million visitors a year.
Istithmar World, Dubai World’s overseas investment subsidiary, was part of a team of investors that bought the development in 2006 for $1.6bn.
Dubai World sold its stake in the South Africa development in February. The sale represented the country’s biggest property deal to date.
Dubai World signed a final agreement with its 80 creditors to restructure $24.9bn in debt in March. The company roiled debt markets in 2009 when it said it was unable to meet its debt obligations.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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