Dubai’s Drake & Scull announces resignation of chairman, CEO

The troubled contractor is currently going through its second restructuring process in two years



Dubai-based contractor Drake & Scull (DSI) has announced the resignation of its chairman and chief executive following a board meeting on Tuesday.

In a statement to the Dubai stock exchange, the company said that chairman Abdullah Atatreh – appointed in September last year – would be replaced by independent board member Obaid bin Touq. No reason was given for Atatreh’s resignation.

A new independent board member, Abdullah Al Matrooshi, has been voted onto the company’s board.

The statement also revealed that Yousef Al Mulla – appointed in August this year – has also resigned from his post as CEO.

“Until a replacement has been appointed, the management of the company will be carried under the supervision of the Board of Directors,” the statement added. 

On the back of a Dhs497m ($119.3m) loss in the three months to September 30, Drake & Scull appointed in November Trussbridge Advisors (DIFC), Allen & Overy, Al Tamimi & Company, and Deloitte as joint-advisors to work on a restructuring plan for the firm.

Read: Dubai’s Drake & Scull appoints advisors after posting Dhs500m Q3 loss

The company’s accumulated losses amounted to more than Dhs1.1bn, resulting in net liabilities of Dhs401.1m at the end of the same period. In October shareholders voted to allow the company to continue as a going concern.

Last month the Dubai Financial Market announced that it would suspend the trading of DSI shares until further notice, after the company appeared to delay in sending the results of its board meeting.

Read: Dubai’s Drake & Scull says working with regulators to lift stock market suspension

An earlier restructuring in 2017 saw three quarters of its share capital wiped out to expunge losses of Dhs1.7bn, as well as a Dhs500m injection of capital from shareholder Tabarak Investment.

Read: Tabarak Investment increases its stake in Dubai contractor Drake & Scull

Earlier in the year, Bloomberg repoerted that former CEO of DSI, Khaldoun Al Tabari, and his daughter owed the company up to Dhs1bn ($272.3m).

DSI also issued a bourse statement confirming the “existence of material financial violations from the previous management”.

It said the violations are under investigation by UAE authorities, though Tabari strongly refuted the claims, and warned of legal action against those spreading “unfounded allegations”.

Read: Ex-CEO of UAE’s Drake and Scull denies wrongdoing, warns of legal action

In brighter news for the firm, it was appointed as the MEP contractor for Abu Dhabi’s $1.2bn Reem Mall project. The company said it had been awarded the Dhs600m ($163.3m) mechanical, electrical and plumbing contract under a joint venture with lead contractor Itinera-Ghantoot.

Read: Dubai’s Drake & Scull awarded MEP contract for Abu Dhabi’s Reem Mall