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DIC put under supervision of Dubai Holding

Muzaffar Rizvi / 14 June 2010

DUBAI — Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment arm of Dubai Holding, on Sunday confirmed that its board was dissolved earlier this year amid restructuring plans and said it is under supervision of its parent company.

In a statement, the company said the DIC board was dissolved in January, after a report in the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper mentioned Sameer Al Ansari, former chief executive of DIC, as having left his non-executive role on the board. However, the statement did not specify Ansari’s departure from his non-executive role. Ansari is currently the chief executive of Dubai-based investment bank, Shuaa Capital.

“Dubai International Capital confirms that its board was dissolved in January 2010 by its parent company, Dubai Holding, in order to implement a new governance structure,” the statement said.

DIC, which effectively acts like a sovereign wealth fund for Dubai,  said in the statement that it is currently under the direct supervision of Dubai Holding and all subcommittees of its board including investment and audit committees remain in place. The firm didn’t provide further details.

Ansari quit as executive chairman of Dubai International in January to focus on his duties as Chief Executive Officer of Shuaa Capital PSC, in which DIC’s sister company bought a controlling 48.4 per cent stake. Al Ansari was appointed to the Shuaa position in August.

Ansari founded DIC in 2004 and took the role of executive chairman and chief executive, and spearheaded its international expansion. Under his leadership, DIC spread its wings globally by acquiring stakes in German aluminium firm Almatis and Merlin Entertainments Group in the UK. DIC’s private equity portfolio includes stakes in Travelodge, Merlin Entertainments, Doncasters, FastenTech, Mauser, Alliance Medical and Almatis, which filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April.

At its peak, DIC managed assets worth more than $13 billion, but the global financial crisis hit its portfolio hard. DIC has said it lost something in the region of $3 billion because of the global downturn.

DIC last month asked lenders for a three-month extension on some of its debts that would allow it to implement a “consensual longer term plan” that in turn would allow it to “maximise the value of its business for the benefit of all its stakeholders.”

The investment firm has $2.6 billion of debt maturing by 2011, with $1.25 billion due this month.



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