ABU DHABI, March 31 Saudi Arabian conglomerate
Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers has called a meeting of
creditor banks in Dubai on May 7 to discuss a proposed
settlement of billions of dollars of unpaid debt, commercial
bankers said on Monday.
The 2009 collapse of Algosaibi's Bahrain unit, The
International Banking Corp, and Awal Bank, owned by Maan
al-Sanea, the Saudi billionaire head of the Saad Group, left
over 100 banks owed an estimated $22 billion.
Since then, the Algosaibi family and al-Sanea have faced off
in courts in New York, London and elsewhere. The Algosaibis
claim al-Sanea, who married into the family 30 years ago,
defrauded them of billions of dollars; Al-Sanea and the Saad
Group have denied the allegations.
The commercial bankers, who declined to be named because of
the sensitivity of the issue, said it was not clear exactly how
much debt would be covered by any proposal from Algosaibi. An
Algosaibi spokesman and lawyers for the group could not
immediately be reached to comment.
"It will be interesting to see what the outcome will be. The
group has so many claims and counter-claims from suppliers and
others and the key question is how do you intend to settle those
claims and the court cases," one Gulf banker said.
He predicted the offer would be around 5 to 7 cents on the
dollar, adding that since United Arab Emirates banks had already
written off most of their Algosaibi debt, they faced little
A second banker in the Gulf said the meeting had been called
for international and regional banks, not those with exposure to
Algosaibi's domestic debt within Saudi Arabia.
Last June, Algosaibi said it had hired three people from the
accounting firm Deloitte to senior management positions. Simon
Charlton was appointed chief restructuring officer and acting
chief executive officer.
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho and Mirna Sleiman; Writing by
Andrew Torchia; Editing by Larry King)