Dubai World's debt restructuring gets 100 pct creditor backing

February 15
7:00 AM 2015

State-owned Dubai World has received backing from all its creditors for a $14.6 billion restructuring plan, a court heard on Sunday, paving the way for the deal to be formally approved by May.

The conglomerate signed the restructuring in 2011 in the wake of the emirate's financial crisis.

Dubai World subsequently brought the court case under Decree 57, a law the government introduced to help administer restructurings in the absence of an effective insolvency law in the United Arab Emirates.

The decree's remit includes imposing restructurings on minority creditors once enough backing for such deals is secured.

This trigger point, 66.7 percent of the value of the debt, was achieved for Dubai World last month. At the same time, its biggest creditor Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, said it had reclassified its exposure as performing.

Dubai World's lawyers are now seeking to withdraw the Decree 57 application.

The court was adjourned until May 10, when it is expected to sign off on that request once all creditors have formally approved the plan.

"The tribunal has recognised we have 100 percent support for it and it's a matter of the negotiation of the finalisation of the documents," Adrian Cohen, partner at law firm Clifford Chance and Dubai World counsel, said after the hearing.

Dubai's economy has rebounded strongly from a property crash which triggered a wave of debt restructurings at state-owned entities at the turn of the decade - notably Dubai World's request for a debt standstill on $25 billion of obligations in 2009 that resulted in a global markets sell-off.

The restructuring involves repaying early an existing $2.92 billion maturity due in September 2015, with an extension granted for a 2018 repayment to 2022.

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