Arabtec files bankruptcy petition with a Dubai court

Panel of seven experts is reviewing the bankruptcy application

Arabtec's shareholders in September authorised the board to file for liquidation due to its untenable financial position. Silvia Razgova / The National
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Construction company Arabtec said on Sunday it filed a bankruptcy application at Dubai court and a panel of seven experts was reviewing it.

The experts will prepare a report on the holding company and its subsidiaries including Arabtec Construction, Austrian Arabian Readymix Concrete Company, Arabtec Precast and Emirates Falcon Electromechanical Company, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market.

The panel will also evaluate the company’s financial position and examine the possibility of restructuring.

“The experts convened the first meeting with the legal representatives of Arabtec Holding and the joining parties (Global Advocacy & Legal Counsel). The matter is still under consideration with the experts’ panel, whereas their report has not been issued yet,” the company said.

Construction companies in the region have faced headwinds following the coronavirus pandemic as work was slowed on some sites to maintain social distancing and new projects were delayed or cancelled, leading to a liquidity crunch.

The shareholders of Arabtec, which has built landmark projects such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and the world's tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa in Dubai, authorised the board to file for liquidation in September due to its untenable financial position.

Arabtec reported a net loss of Dh788 million ($214.5m) in the first half of last year as revenue for the period fell 28 per cent to Dh3.02 billion.

Two more companies including GSI Steel Construction Contracting and Gulf Steel Industries have also been added to the bankruptcy application, according to Arabtec.

Earlier this year, the contractor said it is planning to sell its two subsidiaries Target Engineering and Arabtec Engineering Services (AES) to protect the value of its assets amid liquidation.

Arabtec appointed corporate advisory firm company deNovo to advise on the potential sale of Target while Lumina Capital will advise on the sale of AES, the company said.