RPT-UAE's Dana Gas hires Blackstone on $1 bln debt options - sources

Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:01am EDT

* Blackstone added to advisor list at Dana - sources

* Deutsche Bank also retained as financial advisor - sources

By Dinesh Nair and David French

DUBAI, April 24 (Reuters) - Dana Gas, the Gulf Arab region's only listed natural gas firm, has hired Blackstone Group as a financial advisor to assess options for its $1 billion Islamic bond maturing in October, two sources told Reuters.

The Abu Dhabi-listed firm, whose shares have been battered on fears it might struggle to honor the debt, previously mandated Deutsche Bank as an advisor on the debt restructuring.

Deutsche will continue as an advisor to Dana along with Blackstone, the sources said speaking on condition of anonymity.

Both Dana Gas and Blackstone declined to comment.

Dana, which has operations in the UAE, Egypt and Kurdistan and owns a 3-percent stake in Hungarian group MOL, made a quarterly profit of 147 million dirhams ($40 million), according to Reuters calculations. It had profit of 59 million dirhams in the year-ago period.

Dana has faced payment delays for gas delivered to Egypt, due to political unrest.

Last year, Dana proposed listing some of its assets on the London Stock Exchange and sources close to the matter said the company was still looking to do so this year, although they would not proceed if market conditions were unfavorable.

Dana Gas shares closed up 2.2 percent on the Abu Dhabi bourse. They have lost about 35 percent of their value in the past year.