Dubai developer Nakheel will be completely debt-free following full payment of its Dh4.4 billion ($1.2 billion) trade creditor sukuk when it matures on Thursday (August 25), the company has announced.
The scheduled payment marks the end of the company’s financial restructuring, which began in August 2011, with all creditor obligations now fulfilled, it said.
Nakheel was one of the developers worst hit by Dubai's real estate crash at the turn of the decade, forcing the firm into a massive $16 billion debt restructuring.
Two years ago, on August 21, 2014, Nakheel prepaid all Dh7.9 billion ($2.15 billion) of its bank debt – four years before the scheduled repayment date.
Ali Rashid Lootah, chairman of Nakheel, said: “Today is undoubtedly one of the biggest milestones in our history. Our debt-free status is a true testament to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the trust that he and the Government of Dubai placed in our company. Without it, we would simply not be in the position we are in today.
“We are also ever thankful to the trade creditors, lenders, investors, business partners and regulatory authorities who trusted and supported us throughout, and played a significant role in the successful implementation of the business plan adopted in August 2011.
“In six years, since March 2010, Nakheel has achieved what some considered impossible: completion – ahead of time – of one of the largest, most complex financial restructuring exercises, followed by the successful execution of a new business plan that placed us on a new path to growth.
“As we close the curtain on our restructuring programme, we look forward to starting a fresh chapter in which we are stronger and more resilient than ever.”
The company said sukuk repayment follows a string of other Nakheel achievements and milestones over the last six years, including:
• Meeting the restructuring plan targets two years ahead of the scheduled five-year implementation programme, with savings of Dh25 billion;
• Repaying all Dh7.9 billion of its bank debt four years ahead of the scheduled repayment date (final payment made on August 21, 2014);
• Year-on-year profit growth (2010: Dh0.96 billion; 2011: Dh1.28 billion; 2012: Dh2.02 billion; 2013: Dh2.57 billion; 2014: Dh3.68 billion; and 2015: Dh4.38 billion);
• Boosting the local economy by making payments of Dh38 billion to various creditors and contractors, and awarding contracts worth Dh22 billion for project construction and operational matters;
• Launching more than 70 new projects – ranging from neighbourhood retail centres to entire new communities – some of which are completed and operational while others are in various stages of development;
• Handing over 9,132 villas and apartments, and a further 1,923 land units to customers; and
• Diversifying Nakheel’s business to increase cash-generating assets.
“Our success is concrete evidence of stakeholder trust in Nakheel. The last six years have been an amazing journey during which we dramatically outperformed the restructuring plan despite having to work to strict financial discipline under its terms,” said Lootah. “We will continue to build on that success by further strengthening our business and delivering our diverse range of pipeline projects, including our growing portfolio of retail and hospitality assets that will play a key role in Dubai’s tourism vision.”
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