Kuwait’s Investment Dar Eyes Second Debt-For-Assets Deal By March

The firm said on November 18 that it had received the backing of a “significant majority of investors” for the proposal.

Investment Dar, the Kuwaiti firm best-known for its stake in luxury carmaker Aston Martin, hopes to complete a second debt-for-assets deal with creditors by the end of March, it said in a bourse statement on Tuesday.

The sharia-compliant firm said on Nov. 18 it had received the backing of a “significant majority of investors” for the proposal, which would see creditors voluntarily exchanging debt for ownership of a portfolio of assets.

It is the latest attempt to reduce debt at Investment Dar, which overextended itself during the boom years of the mid-2000s and then struggled to manage its borrowings in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The proposal, originally made in May but amended with new terms in June, is an alternative to the 1 billion dinar ($3.4 billion) debt restructuring plan agreed in 2011.

No details or terms for the so-called settlement-in-kind proposal have been released, although the Nov. 18 update said there would be no losses imposed on creditors under the plan and no change to the existing maturity of the debt.

Investment Dar will circulate a draft framework for a deal by the end of next week so lenders can review the documentation and have any bilateral discussions with Investment Dar’s adviser, Houlihan Lokey, before an all-creditor meeting on Jan. 21, Tuesday’s statement said.

It has already completed one settlement-in-kind offer. In December 2013, Investment Dar said around 30 percent of creditors at the time had signed up to a similar swap deal involving debt and a portfolio of assets.

Investment Dar, set up in 1994, has invested in Islamic insurance, real estate, construction, logistics and manufacturing.