North Africa/Middle East

Dubai World's willingness to sell prized assets such as ports operator DP World to pay down its debt pile is considered such a drastic move that analysts see it more as a last-resort bargaining tactic. Documents obtained by Reuters this week revealed the surprising news that the debt-laden conglomerate was willing to let go of "strategic assets" such as DP World, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Maritime City (DMC) as part of a $19.4-billion fundraising effort as it tries to reach a restructuring deal with creditors by October 1.
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Dubai World plans to raise as much as $19.4 billion by selling off prized assets over eight years to pay off creditors burned by its overambitious expansion, according to a document obtained by Reuters on Wednesday. The state-owned conglomerate told creditors at a July 22 meeting, held at Dubai's lavish Atlantis Hotel, that its capital structure was inappropriate and needed "urgent" restructuring, according to the document handed out at the meeting.
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Nakheel, a troubled Dubai-based developer, has paid Dh2.5bn ($681m) to trade creditors as it pushes towards agreement on Dh4bn in unpaid bills to contactors as part of the broader restructuring at Dubai World, its parent, the Financial Times reported. Ali Lootah, Nakheel’s chairman, told a local newspaper on Sunday that the developer had agreed claims with 80 per cent of its trade creditors as it pushes towards the 95 per cent threshold needed to finalise a restructuring agreement.
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Dubai International Capital, the private equity arm of the Gulf Arab emirate, said it will focus on bringing German aluminium maker Almatis out of bankruptcy after a long-running battle with a dissident lender ended, Reuters Africa reported. Oaktree Capital Management LP withdrew its opposition to DIC's plan to retain control of the bankrupt firm after a settlement offer was leaked. Oaktree and Dubai have been battling over the best way to refinance Almatis, which filed for bankruptcy in the United States with more than $1 billion in debt, for the past year.
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Almatis Group said it has lined up $592 million to fund a potential restructuring plan that would see it exit bankruptcy under the ownership of Dubai International Capital, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported. In court papers filed Monday, the aluminum company said it expects to ask the bankruptcy court shortly for permission to strike a deal with various firms that are willing to back the Chapter 11 plan of reorganization that current Almatis owner Dubai International Capital wants to sponsor.
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Israel's only rehabilitation and training center for the blind and sight-impaired will be sent into receivership, the Haifa District Court said yesterday after the government refused to cover the nonprofit organization's NIS 11 million deficit, Haaretz.com reported. Sources at Migdal Or (Tower of Light ) told Haaretz the operating expenses for the center and its various units are higher than what the state is willing to invest. The center, located in Kiryat Haim near Haifa, is operated on behalf of the Social Affairs Ministry at an annual budget of NIS 14 million.
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Dubai World has invited all its creditors to a July 22 meeting where the troubled conglomerate will seek to forge consensus behind backing for its multibillion-dollar restructuring proposal, people familiar with the matter say, the Financial Times reported. Creditors that hold about 60 per cent of the $14.8bn of the holding company’s debt – the seven banks on the co-ordinating committee of lenders – have already agreed initial terms on the restructuring proposal, which offers to pay back principle over five to eight years, the Financial Times reported.
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Bankrupt German aluminum maker Almatis BV is considering a new refinancing proposal from its owner Dubai International Capital LLC, but Almatis senior debtholder Oaktree Capital Management urged the judge to stick to the original reorganization plan, Reuters reported. In a letter dated Wednesday to Judge Martin Glenn, who is overseeing the case, Almatis' attorney said he had received a proposal from Dubai International Capital, or DIC, to pay off the company's senior debt in full.
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Dubai International Capital, a heavily-indebted investment arm of the emirate’s ruler, has dismissed speculation about a fire sale of assets by promising to keep its five majority-owned companies in Europe for at least two more years, the Financial Times reported. In a letter to the senior managers of its portfolio companies, DIC said it had already spent $300m on supporting its troubled investments, such as the UK hotel chain Travelodge and German industrial groups Almatis and Mauser.
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