Kuwait's Investment Dar makes new offer to creditors

Aston Martin stakeholder makes alternative offer to proposal made under $3.6bn debt restructuring plan agreed in 2011
Kuwait's Investment Dar makes new offer to creditors
(Getty Images)
By Reuters
Wed 07 May 2014 07:27 PM

Investment Dar, the Kuwaiti firm which holds a stake in luxury carmaker Aston Martin, said on Wednesday it had made a settlement-in-kind offer to creditors, in the latest of a long line of restructurings at the company.

Investment Dar is one of several local financial firms which struggled to refinance debt as the global economic crisis hit in 2008. It has also been embroiled in a legal case over a stake in Kuwait's Boubyan Bank.

In a statement, it said the new offer was presented to creditors at a meeting in Dubai on Wednesday, and that it was optional and voluntary.

The offer is an alternative to a proposal Dar made under a KD1 billion ($3.6 billion) debt restructuring plan agreed in 2011. There were no details of the type or value of assets offered under Wednesday's proposal.

Giving reasons for the new settlement offer, Investment Dar said it had originally hoped that one of its "major assets" would have been returned to it by now through the Kuwaiti judicial system, but that this had not happened.

The company has been in a long-running legal battle over a stake it once held in Bouyban Bank.

Investment Dar sold the stake to Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) in 2008, with the right to buy it back. In 2009, CBK said Dar had lost that right and tried to sell on the open market, a move blocked by a Dar-requested court order.

Dar wants to sell the shares and use proceeds to pay creditors.

"This has not happened as quickly as we wanted - it is a fact which we have to deal with," chief executive Abdullah al-Homaidhi said in the statement.

Dar, a sharia-compliant investor which has been delisted from the Kuwait stock exchange, defaulted on a $100 million Islamic bond payment in 2009, leading it to restructure around $3.6 billion in debt two years later.

In December the company got around a third of its creditors to accept a debt restructuring deal that offered them shares in a portfolio of its assets. Wednesday's meeting was aimed at addressing remaining creditors.

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