Arabtec shareholders' restructuring vote scheduled

Shareholders in Arabtec are due to vote on its proposed capital restructuring at its annual general meeting, which is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 18 April.

The company has proposed a restructuring that will see it raise Dh1.5 billion through the issue of 1.5 million new shares, initially taking the total number of shares in circulation to more than 6.1 million. Following this, a capital reduction will take place that will see 4.6 billion shares cancelled, freeing up the same amount of liabilities that can then be used to write off accumulated losses.

Aabar Investments, which is part of the government-owned investment fund Ipic, has already agreed to to subscribe to its full entitlement under the issue. It currently owns 36.11 per cent of the shares in Arabtec, but it has also pledged to buy up any excess shares that other investors do not subscribe to during the issue.

“In a construction company, you need two things – cash and people,” Arabtec’s chief executive, Hamish Tyrwhitt, told The National after the company recently filed accounts declaring a Dh3.4 billion loss for 2016.

The company has already identified several new management team members who are due to join in the coming months and, alongside the proposed Dh1.5bn rights issue, it is planning to raise more cash through the disposal of non-core assets.

“Those things that are investments we have – whether it is some shares in a company, a minority stake or partnerships in some things – once we’ve had a strategic review I’d be looking at recycling that capital into the core of the business,” said Mr Tyrwhitt.

Arabtec’s annual general meeting is set to take places at Ipic’s offices in Abu Dhabi.

Arabtec shares closed 2.46 per cent up on Sunday.

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