AHAB Announces the Formation of the Settlement Steering Committee and the Appointment of Advisors

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 10, 2014 / PRNewswire – Today, Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (“AHAB”) reported that it agreed terms of engagement with the steering committee established to facilitate settlement discussions and negotiations with an overwhelming number of financial institutions with claims against the company.

“We are determined to make this settlement process work, and the formal establishment of the steering committee is a key step in advancing the negotiations with these institutions,” said Simon Charlton, AHAB’s Acting CEO. “We have been working with them and we can now begin the discussions that we hope will lead to agreed settlement terms.”

At a meeting in Dubai on May 7, AHAB’s management outlined a proposed settlement structure to maximize recoveries for the financial institutions, and to end the five-year stalemate. Since the meeting, the parties have been engaged in dialogue to establish a process within which negotiations can take place.

Subsequent to the meeting in Dubai, a steering committee was formed to facilitate discussions and negotiations between AHAB and the collective group of financial institutions relating to the settlement process. The committee is comprised of representatives from five institutions, and includes a mix of GCC and international financial institutions. 87 of 108 identified claimants, representing approximately 59% of the overall debt (and approximately 89% of debt claimed by non-Saudi institutions), are now formally engaged in the process or have expressed an interest to do so. It is hoped that this process will result in the settlement of all of AHAB’s outstanding debt/claims.

The steering committee has appointed Houlihan Lokey and Allen & Overy to serve as the financial and legal advisors in the settlement negotiations between the two groups.  Both firms will report directly to the creditors’ steering committee and lead efforts to develop heads of terms, value assets, and perform due diligence activities.

“Nearly every non-Saudi bank is now involved in the process, and we are encouraging the Saudi-based financial institutions to join as well,” said Charlton. “We shall continue to work with the authorities and are confident that a pragmatic resolution can be achieved.”