Dubai's Arabtec asks banks for debt standstill for subsidiary, sources say

DUBAI, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Arabtec Holding asked banks this week for a three-month standstill on debt repayments for its subsidiary Target, sources said, as the Dubai-listed builder that is facing liquidation seeks to save some of its business.

Target specialises in oil and gas projects and marine work with operations in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, its website says.

Shareholders, including Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co, voted last month to liquidate Arabtec after losses deepened due to the coronavirus crisis.

Officials from Arabtec, which helped build the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai and the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, were not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

Arabtec told banks that Target had been identified as a sustainable business and could be protected from the collapse of the wider group if creditors agreed to a standstill, said three sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

The company did not tell lenders how much of their lending to Arabtec was allocated to Target, the sources said.

Arabtec had total liabilities of about $2.75 billion at the end of June, including almost $500 million in bank borrowing.

Arabtec’s seven lenders, including Mashreq Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), were providing feedback to the request related to Target, the sources said.

Mashreq Bank and ADCB declined to comment. Other lenders could not immediately be reached.

Arabtec’s move to liquidate followed a first half loss of $216.18 million and total accumulated losses of nearly $400 million. It said the pandemic had hit projects and lifted costs. (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Edmund Blair)