Binladin’s Debt Restructuring Is About to Get More Scrutiny

A debt restructuring proposal designed to prevent the collapse of construction giant Saudi Binladin Group may face more scrutiny from creditors, Bloomberg News reported. The lenders that want a bigger say in the process have held discussions with Rothschild & Co. and may decide to appoint the investment bank in the coming weeks. Talks are ongoing, and no final decisions have been made. Creditors may also choose to hire another adviser or none at all. While it’s not unusual for creditors to seek an independent counsel, they are acting almost a year after Binladin hired Houlihan Lokey Inc. as an adviser for what would be one of the Middle East’s biggest debt revamps. The plan is a response to what banks deem to be the lack of transparency that surrounds the process and an approach by Houlihan that they fear will result in a one-sided deal. Houlihan has warned that it would consider resorting to Saudi bankruptcy regulations to overcome any dissent among lenders. Houlihan said that lenders aren’t coming under pressure. “Absolutely no discussions have been had with creditors around use of available tools to implement the deal” as the firm is “working with the company and its stakeholders towards a comprehensive recapitalization,” said Arun Reddy, Houlihan’s managing director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Read more.