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UAE’s Al Jaber Group Confirms CEO Exit

UAE’s Al Jaber Group Confirms CEO Exit

The Abu Dhabi-based group has seen a number of management changes in the last two years.

Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group confirmed on Sunday its chief executive, David Nelson, had left the group, although it declined to comment on sources telling Reuters the conglomerate had also scrapped plans to sell its heavy lift unit.

The group, whose main business is construction but also has interests in areas from retail to aviation, sealed a drawn-out debt restructuring agreement in June which is said to have set new terms on around $4.5 billion of obligations.

The family-owned group brought in Nelson in late-2012 as part of an introduction of outside personnel into senior management aimed at reviewing and modernising business practices after a debt-fuelled expansion got it into trouble.

However, a spokesman confirmed on Sunday that Nelson had left for family reasons and Mike Grant, the company’s chief restructuring officer, had assumed the position of interim CEO.

A source aware of the matter said Nelson resigned around two months ago. Grant joined Al Jaber as restructuring head in November 2011.

The group has seen a number of management changes in the last two years. Richard Hollands, who was named finance head in November 2011, resigned in April 2013. He was replaced by Robert Palazzo, who served as an interim CFO until incumbent Sam Deeb was appointed in January 2014.

HEAVY LIFT

A sale process for the company’s heavy lift business has been abandoned, according to three sources aware of the matter.

The divestment of the unit, which provides heavy lifting and transportation of machinery and other projects equipment, would have been the first asset sale since the signing of the restructuring deal, which is predicated on giving Al Jaber time for its assets to be sold off to repay its outstanding debts.

All three sources said the sale process had been called off by the family because of a reluctance to sell, with one of the sources citing low bids for the business by prospective buyers.

Barclays had been appointed by Al Jaber in the middle of last year to arrange the sale process.

The Al Jaber spokesperson said the group does not comment on market speculation when asked if the sale had been scrapped.

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