DEBT-LADEN Dubai World has raised the prospect of selling previously ring-fenced “crown jewel” assets such as ports arm DP World reports The Daily Telegraph.
One of DP World’s global operations is the DP World London Gateway deep water port in Stanford-le-Hope.
A strategy outline for the group at its latest creditor presentation looked at raising up to $19.4bn to appease creditors.
It was put together last month by the company and a co-ordinating committee which represent 60pc of the $23.5bn of debt being restructured.
The state-owned conglomerate is now canvassing creditors holding the remaining 40pc of owed monies to submit feedback before September 9 ahead of an October 1 “soft” deadline to complete the restructuring.
The outline document also revealed the group’s debt stood at $39.9bn – far higher than estimates of about $25bn – even though not all of the debt is being restructured.
In the presentation the company said an immediate asset sale would raise just $10.4bn, but argued that recoveries for lenders would be “significantly enhanced if Dubai World is given time to rebuild and realise value over a five to eight year horizon”.
It said the assets could fetch $19.4bn over this longer period.
Until now DP World, which bought P&O Ports in 2006 and runs Southampton and Tilbury docks in the UK, had been considered sacrosanct – along with Jebel Ali Free Zone.
Although Dubai World plans to resist selling either, the joint company/creditor document presented various disposal scenarios if that was the only way to quell creditor concerns.