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Dubai’s Drydocks expects debt deal by March

Drydocks eyeing payment extension of 5-8 years; No financial support sought from Dubai govt

December 20, 2011 10:57 by

Drydocks World, a unit of Dubai World , expects to complete its long-delayed debt restructuring by the end of March 2012 and has not asked the Dubai government for financial support, its chairman said on Tuesday.

The shipping firm is looking to extend debt repayments for between five and eight years, Khamis Juma Buamim said. That timeframe would be similar to the restructuring deal reached by parent Dubai World with its creditors last year.

“We are not asking for government support. I’m not saying we don’t need it. There are always other avenues to get support,” Buamim told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Dubai.

Dubai World’s shipbuilding unit is restructuring a $2.2 billion facility taken in October 2008. The loan comprises a $1.7 billion three-year loan and a five-year $500 million loan.

“We are looking at continuing on the interest we have previously agreed on,” he added.

The restructuring has been ongoing for a number of months, with Buamim telling Reuters in August that a deal would not be reached this year, having initially targeted April 2011 for the agreement.

Bookrunners on the 15-lender syndicate were BNP Paribas , HSBC Mashreq, Standard Chartered and Lloyds TSB Bank among others.

Talks with syndicate banks are also ongoing to secure a working capital facility, Buamim said. Drydocks agreed a $200 million credit facility with banks in January

Dubai Drydocks is also eyeing joint ventures for its southeast Asia business, Buamim said.

“We are having a lot of discussion on this. International companies came forward for a joint venture. We are very hopeful,” he said. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Writing by David French; Editing by Amran Abocar)

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