Aabar in $800m loan agreement

Daimler and Virgin Galactic stakeholder borrows $800m.

Aabar Investments, which has stakes in Daimler and Virgin Galactic, yesterday said it entered into a $800 million (Dh2.93 billion) loan agreement with local and international lenders.

The club loan is for three years and will be used for general and corporate purposes, Aabar said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi bourse without giving further details.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi is the lead arranger of the loan, a banker involved in the transaction told Reuters, declining to name the other banks.

"The details are not clear but it could be they are trying to refinance debt that is maturing," said Deepak Tolani, an analyst at Al Mal Capital.

Aabar has three loans due this year, including a Dh1.22bn loan used to finance the purchase of a stake in Banco Santander (Brasil) and a $1.6bn short-term loan for investment financing, the company's 2009 financial statement shows.

Aabar's borrowings, all term loans, stood at Dh15bn in December 2009.

"Aabar has nearly Dh8bn in term loans scheduled to mature in 2010 so they are facing significant refinancing pressure," said Mark Friedenthal, a fund manager at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Last month, Aabar said it plans to issue convertible bonds worth Dh7.34bn to International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), which holds a 71 per cent stake in Aabar.

In March, Aabar said its assets had grown to $10bn from $625m prior to its acquisition by Ipic.

The investment firm had posted a leap in net profit in the first quarter to Dh1.58bn mainly due to derivatives income, after revising its year-ago result to a deep loss.

Aabar said last month that it dropped a plan to take over Arabtec Holding for $1.74bn.

Arabtec and Aabar said they will now work toward forming a "strategic partnership." Aabar formed a property unit in April.

"I think Arabtec has never been off the table for Aabar," said Akram Annous, Deputy Fund Manager at Al Mal Capital.

"I believe something will be done between the two of them. The question is simply how it will be structured," he added.

Aabar officials were not immediately available for comment.

Ipic, wholly-owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, is the majority shareholder in Abu Dhabi-listed Aabar, which is the emirate's fastest growing investment vehicle. (With inputs from agencies)


Aabar gets $335m from RBS


The Abu Dhabi based-Aabar Investments obtained a loan amounting to $335 million (Dh1.23 billion) from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in March, the company's first quarter statement said. The purpose for the loan is to repay a former loan the company obtained in 2009 to finance the purchase of Banco Santander ADSs.


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