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Tue, Mar 09, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Investment Dar seeks help for Aston Martin proposal

AP , DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The debt-troubled Kuwaiti Islamic investment firm that owns half of British luxury car maker Aston Martin said on Sunday it may seek state legal protection as it struggles to appease some of its creditors.

Investment Dar said in an e-mailed statement it was considering turning to the Gulf state’s financial stability law after failing to win over “a small minority of investors” to its restructuring plan.

Utilizing the law would give the firm and a majority of investors supporting its efforts the opportunity to move ahead on a previously agreed restructuring plan, while shielding it from legal claims brought by dissenting creditors that might block the process, the company said.

“Entry into the financial stability law will enable Investment Dar to implement the agreed restructuring plan,” chairman and chief executive Adnan al-Musallam said in a statement. “This is in the best interests of all [the company’s] stakeholders.”

The investment house announced last May that it was in default of a US$100 million sukuk — a type of investment structured to avoid paying interest in line with Islamic law.

The company said it had gained the support of more than 80 percent of its banks and investors to its restructuring plan, which it said envisioned “a full repayment of the financial arrangements with all its banks and investors.”

Investment Dar said the stability law would have no affect on its legal status and would allow the firm to continue to operate as a viable investment company.

“Investment Dar would not seek financial support in making its repayments, but a legal framework to implement its well supported plan,” the statement said.

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