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Al Gosaibi settlement move to break years of deadlock

saudi arabia|By TAP Staff|Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company (AHAB) announced that it has invited financial institutions with claims against the company to attend a meeting in Dubai, UAE on May 7, 2014, at which AHAB will outline the terms of a comprehensive settlement agreement.

The move by AHAB breaks a stalemate that has existed since late 2009 when AHAB’s last comprehensive proposal was rejected by financial institutions, many of which chose instead to pursue claims through litigation.  But now, after more than four years of litigation yielding few tangible results for banks, AHAB is set to propose comprehensive settlement terms to resolve the claims against it.

“AHAB is restructuring its business and the only way to move on from the massive borrowing fraud committed by Maan Al Sanea is to reach a comprehensive resolution with all banks with bona fide claims,” said Simon Charlton, the Chief Restructuring Officer and Acting Chief Executive of AHAB.

AHAB has long sought a solution to the problem, which would include money recovered from Mr. Al Sanea, who borrowed billions of dollars without authority using forged documents and then siphoned the vast majority for his own use.  As the Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands, who issued a $2.5 billion default judgment against Al Sanea stated, there is clear evidence of “misappropriation on a massive scale,” the group claimed in  statement.

Since the scheme was discovered in May 2009, AHAB has  engaged with all of the local, regional, and global banks involved, making clear its desire to negotiate a collective settlement, while actively pursuing Mr. Al Sanea in the United States, the Cayman Islands (where his offshore companies were headquartered) and Saudi Arabia, where he moved the bulk of his assets at the time of the crisis.

“AHAB believes now is the time to reach a comprehensive solution and is prepared to offer a substantial portion of its assets to achieve that goal,” Mr. Charlton added.  “We look forward to a productive dialogue and process that results in a fair agreement for all stakeholders.”

The proposed settlement will be based on AHAB’s existing assets and funds that can be recovered in the future from Mr. Al Sanea. The trail has now led back to Saudi Arabia, where AHAB continues to pursue cases against Al Sanea for misappropriation of monies, fraud, return of shares, and other damages.

In addition, claims against Al Sanea’s companies, which are now in liquidation, will continue to trial in the Cayman Islands following AHAB’s defeat of various strike out attempts by the defendants.  Finally, AHAB is seeking redress against two Saudi Arabian banks that foreclosed on significant share portfolios, apparently at a time when AHAB’s shares should have been frozen by Royal Order.