Dubai developer Limitless set to agree third debt restructuring deal

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FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Burj Khalifa and the downtown skyline in Dubai

By Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai state-owned property developer Limitless is set to reach an agreement with creditors over some $760 million of troubled debt, documents seen by Reuters showed – its third restructuring in a decade.

Limitless, along with Nakheel, was among the biggest casualties of Dubai’s property crash and the subsequent debt crisis that began in 2009.

It plans to enter into a lock-up agreement – a precursor to a long form term sheet and definitive documentation – with an ad-hoc group of creditors by the end of this month and with remaining creditors by the end of September to restructure the debt, an overview of the plan seen by Reuters showed.

The ad-hoc group includes First Abu Dhabi Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, Arab National Bank, and Mashreqbank.

A Limitless spokesperson declined to comment. First Abu Dhabi Bank declined to comment and the other lenders did not immediately respond to comment requests.

Creditors will have the option to settle their debts at a 50% discount or to extend their current positions through a seven-year loan.

The restructured loan would be split into U.S dollar and UAE dirhams tranches and would include mandatory pre-payments from asset sales, the documents showed.

As part of the restructuring, Limitless would sell land at Al Wasl, a $12 billion project it planned on the outskirts of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

The group will keep part of the sale proceeds to stabilise and fund the business.

Limitless reached a first restructuring agreement in 2012 and a second in 2016.

The company, the former property arm of Dubai World, was a victim of Dubai’s corporate debt crisis, which was triggered in 2009 by Dubai World’s request to delay repaying $25 billion in debt.

Dubai World reached an agreement in 2011 with banks to extend debt maturities and transferred the ownership to the government of Limitless, along with Nakheel Properties, which restructured its $16 billion debt in 2011.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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