Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ahmad Hamad AlGosaibi and Brothers / Saad Restructurings

A very interesting news article at The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi on work being done by investigative accountants at Grant Thorton who have been appointed liquidator for Saad Investment Company Ltd. ("SICL") Cayman Islands.

It's important to note up front that this is a newspaper's account of the contents of Grant Thorton's report and not the report itself.  And equally the Grant Thorton report is a report not a judicial finding. So at this point, this is speculation.

Some "technical" comments on the article.
  1. Awal Bank is owned 100% by Maan AlSanea.  48% through SICL.  47% directly in his name.  And 5% by Saad Trading Contracting and Financial Services.
  2. The name of the AlGosaibi-owned bank in Bahrain is The International Banking Corporation.
  3. Assets that are unlikely to be realized are not a "cash pile".   From the article it sounds like the cash may be in Swiss banks.   And the "pile" in the Caymans or at least owned by entities in the Caymans.
  4. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency ("SAMA") froze Mr. AlSanea's accounts in the Kingdom earlier this year.  If the account that received the $60 million is known to be his and the funds  are still in it, the $60 million may be recoverable by creditors. 
  5. A Cayman Islands court has frozen his assets in that country.  
  6. To the extent that entities in either Saudi or the Caymans have effective control of assets registered in their names but located in other reputable jurisdictions those assets are also frozen.
If indeed records are missing and there is a complex web of intercompany transactions, cross financings and cross guarantees, it is going to take quite a long time to sort all this out. The fact that there is inter linkage between Saad Group and AlGosaibi is going to exponentially complicate the resolution of each of these cases.

Bankers don't like uncertainty.  Bankers also don't like to take losses.  A very tricky situation.

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