* Property and finance company unveiled new debt plan in May
* Creditors forming committee to negotiate a deal
* Legal cases against company complicate deal prospects
By Tom Arnold
DUBAI, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Creditors of Kuwait’s debt-laden Investment Dar, whose assets include property and finance, are close to forming a team to negotiate a deal on the company’s latest plan to restructure 813 million dinars ($2.7 billion) in debt.
Investment Dar, whose assets include a stake in the owner of Dubai’s “The World” islands project, has made several efforts to restructure its debt since running into trouble in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, but with mixed success. It paid off some creditors after signing a deal linked to other assets in 2011 covering about 1 billion dinars.
Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, the Islamic investment company’s largest creditor, is taking charge of forming the committee, which will be responsible for representing the roughly 70 to 80 creditors in negotiations with Investment Dar, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The committee will seek to galvanise some of the many creditors accused of preventing previous deals from gaining sufficient support by remaining inactive.
In its latest debt restructuring plan, unveiled in May, Investment Dar offered to hand assets to creditors immediately.
Any deal remains complicated, however, by a rise in the number of legal cases being more actively pursued in the Kuwaiti courts since a stay on litigation against Investment Dar was lifted in February.
That followed the failure of its previous plan after Kuwait’s Court of Appeal rejected an application under the country’s financial stability law to impose it on all creditors.
Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House, Bahrain’s Al Baraka Banking Group and Saudi Arabia’s Bank Albilad are all pursuing litigation through the Kuwaiti courts against the company. Another creditor, Noor Investments of Kuwait, applied in July to Kuwait’s Court of Appeal to have Investment Dar declared bankrupt.
Another complication is that Investment Dar has been in legal dispute with Commercial Bank of Kuwait over part of its nearly 20 percent stake in Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank, which is one of the assets it aims to hand over to creditors. ($1 = 0.3017 Kuwaiti dinars) (Editing by Susan Fenton)