Creditors meet in billion dollar Saad case in Cayman

| 05/11/2009

(CNS): The creditors of Saad Investments Company Ltd (SICL) attended their first official meeting on Thursday, according to reports from Reuters. The accountancy firm Grant Thornton said the meeting took place in the Cayman Islands and marked the next step in the troubled firm’s restructuring process. Banks are said to be seeking repayment of a loan of up to $2.8 billion taken out in 2007 by Cayman Islands-registered SICL, a unit of Saudi investment firm Saad Group. Reuters said that a spokesman for Saad Group had declined to comment on the meeting.

Regulators and bankers are grappling with up to $22 billion of debt restructurings at Saad and a second Saudi firm, Algosaibi, viewed by some as the biggest financial blow to the region since the global credit crisis began.

The two groups are involved in a complex legal dispute, and Algosaibi has asked a New York court for a default judgement against the billionaire head of Saad, Maan al-Sanea, over allegations he defrauded the company out of $10 billion.

On 18 September the Cayman Islands court appointed Hugh Dickson, Stephen Akers and Mark Byers of Grant Thornton as joint official liquidators of SICL, the accountancy firm said, after hearing a winding-up order from creditors. In addition to SICL, the Cayman court has appointed Grant Thornton liquidators to a further nine Saad Group companies, the accountancy firm said.

One of these companies is Singularis Holdings, which acquired a 3 percent stake in HSBC in 2007. In July, the Grand Court in Cayman froze $9.2 billion worth of assets of SICL and a number of other international Saad units.

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