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Dana Gas Said to Hire Blackstone to Restructure Sukuk

Source: Bloomberg 4/24/2012, Location: Middle East

Dana Gas PJSC (DANA) hired Blackstone Group LP (BX), the world’s largest private-equity firm, to advise on the $1 billion restructuring of Islamic bonds maturing in October, three people familiar with the matter said.

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) is also advising the company, two people with knowledge of the matter said in January. Dana Gas, whose parent Crescent Petroleum Co. owns 3 percent of Hungarian refiner Mol Nyrt. (MOL) said Jan. 17 it would continue to meet debt obligations and appointed an unidentified financial adviser.

Dana Gas, which produces and explores for oil and gas in Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said in March money owed by customers almost doubled last year to $501 million from $255 million. The company said $212 million of the total was owed for more than four months. The yield on its 7.5 percent sukuk due October 2012 climbed 23.69 percentage points so far this year to 61.17 percent at 2:35 p.m. in Dubai.

“At the end of the day, we don’t know if they have the ability to repay their debt, and they haven’t given any indication that they can,” Thomas Christie, fixed income sales trader at Rasmala Investment Bank in Dubai, said by phone today. There is “no information on whether they’re getting payments out of Egypt,” he said.

The company’s board will meet on April 25 to consider the progress of its projects, while shareholders will meet the following day. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based Dana Gas may restructure the sukuk at 61.5 percent to par value, investment bank Exotix Ltd. said in January.

The outside public relations company for Dana Gas declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News. Blackstone and Deutsche Bank also declined to comment.

The stock rose 2.2 percent to close at 47 fils in Abu Dhabi.

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