KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Investment Dar, the troubled Kuwaiti firm that owns half of luxury British carmaker Aston Martin, said on Saturday it has filed for legal protection under Kuwait’s financial stability law.
“Investment Dar announces today that it has started a process of legal protection under the terms of Kuwait’s Financial Stability Law,” a company statement said.
The company, which has debts of over three billion dollars, said the move aims at pushing through a debt restructuring plan that is backed by more than 80 percent of creditors but is opposed by a minority.
If the request is accepted by authorities, it will halt all legal actions against Kuwait’s top Islamic investment firm.
Dar will be the first company to resort to the financial stability law since it was enacted about a year ago with the aim of helping Kuwaiti banks and investment firms against the fallouts of the global financial crisis.
Dar said the move came following a series of meetings with the banks and investors coordinating committee in Kuwait, Dubai and London.
The restructuring plan envisages a full repayment by Investment Dar of its financial arrangements to all of its banks and investors, the statement said.
It stressed that it will not seek financial support from the government by coming under the stability law, but wants a legal framework to implement the restructuring plan.
In September, the company reached a standstill agreement with its creditors to suspend claims, but some creditors insisted on seeking legal recourse to reclaim debts.
In the same month, Kuwait’s central bank appointed a temporary administrator to oversee business at Investment Dar, which has already defaulted on its debt.
The company’s shares have been suspended from trading on the Kuwait Stock Exchange since last April 1 for failure to report 2008 financial results.
Like many Kuwaiti investment firms, Investment Dar, which in March 2007 bought 50 percent of Aston Martin, has been hit hard by the global economic downturn.
In December, Kuwait’s top investment firm, Global Investment House, struck a a deal with creditors to restructure loans worth over 1.7 billion dollars.