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Dubai World debt deal wins approval

dubai infrastructure buildupState-owned conglomerate Dubai World has been granted approval to end court proceedings relating to its $14.6 billion debt restructuring deal, according to a document on the court’s website.

The action allows lawyers for the conglomerate to gather the signatures of creditors in support of the deal outside the Dubai World Tribunal, the special court that had been overseeing the process.

Formal sign-off for the restructuring could occur within days or weeks, two people familiar with the matter said, with the timing dependent on how quickly creditors complete the approval process.

 Dubai World was at the heart of the emirate’s financial crisis at the turn of the decade and was forced to restructure around $25 billion of debt in 2011. But a recovery in the emirate’s economy since then, and concerns over whether it could meet a large repayment due in 2018, spurred it to try to amend the terms of that original deal.

The company had brought the case under Decree 57, a law the government introduced to help administer restructurings through the tribunal in the absence of an effective insolvency law in the United Arab Emirates.

But after gaining 100 percent support for the plan, Dubai World’s lawyers applied to withdraw the application during a court hearing last month.

Tribunal member Sir David Steel approved the application on Monday afternoon, according to the court document.

The proposal involves repaying early an existing $2.92 billion maturity due in September 2015, with an extension granted for a 2018 repayment to 2022.-Reuters