Saudi billionaire in contempt of court

| 29/03/2010

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Grand Court found the Saudi billionaire Maan al-Sanea in contempt last week for breaching a worldwide order freezing $9.2bn of his assets. The judgment is being described by experts as another blow to Sanea, the owner of Saad Group, in his bitter dispute with a rival Saudi company. The complaint was filed by Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers Company (Ahab), alleging that Sanea broke the freezing order by transferring $60m from one of his companies to Saad Specialist Hospital in Saudi Arabia last July. However, a spokesperson for Saad has said the company will appeal against the elements of the judgment.

Justice Alex Henderson froze the $9.2 billion of assets last July comprising of 42 entities most of which are registered with local law firm Maples and Calder and relate to al-Sanea, including Saad Group Ltd. and Saad Air Ltd. The freeze was instigated as a result of a complaint brought by Mourant on behalf of Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers Company (Ahab).

Local receivers Richard Douglas and Peter Anderson from Rawlinson & Hunter Cayman Islands were appointed by the court for 38 of the companies registered in Cayman

The Saad group of companies came under financial pressure earlier this year following the firm’s downgrading by ratings agency Moody’s to Ba1 — considered a junk rating. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency then issued instructions telling local banks to freeze Sanea’s personal assets.

The Cayman suit comes on the heels of one filed in New York claiming Sanea misappropriated about $10 billion from the Algosaibi’s family’s accounts into his own and fraudulently arranged loans to the company, which he diverted for his own use.


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