Boeing marks Saudi milestone with delivery of new plane

Updated 20 May 2013
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Boeing marks Saudi milestone with delivery of new plane

Boeing has delivered a 777-300ER (Extended Range) plane to Saudia, marking the latest milestone in its longstanding relationship with the airline and the Kingdom.
The airplane, the first of its type to be fitted with a three-class cabin configuration for Saudia, was delivered to the airline at a ceremony in Everett, Washington.
Among those in attendance were Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi, deputy director general, Saudia, and Marty Bentrott, vice president — sales, Middle East, Russia & Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Top executives of Boeing and Saudia as well as representatives from the media attended the ceremony.
Saudia currently has a backlog of 21 Boeing airplanes on order, including 13 777s and eight 787 Dreamliners.
“This latest addition to our fleet will feature our distinctive First, Business and Guest class cabins, allowing us to offer a full range of services tailored to our passengers’ specific needs,” said Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi, deputy director general, Saudia.
“The Boeing 777-300ER, with its unrivaled fuel efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort, will form the backbone of our long-haul fleet, allowing Saudia to launch direct flights to Los Angeles and Toronto,” he said.
The Boeing 777-300ER is the largest long-range twin-engine commercial airplane in the world, bringing efficiency and reliability to the long-range market.
The airplane carries 386 passengers up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,450 km).
Marty Bentrott, vice president — sales, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “Boeing and Saudia share a uniquely historical relationship. It was a DC-3 that was used to launch the airline in 1945. A Boeing 707 ushered it into the jet age in 1961 and, today, we’re proud of the pivotal role the Boeing 777 will play in Saudia’s ambitious expansion plans.”
Bentrott said: “We look forward to building on our successful partnership and to continuing our unwavering support for Saudia’s long-term growth strategy.”
The aircraft formed the basis for the launch of Saudia.
The airline took delivery of its first 777, a 777-200ER, in December 1997 and currently owns and operates 29 Boeing models.


UAE regulators ask corporates to declare exposure to Abraaj

Updated 21 June 2018
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UAE regulators ask corporates to declare exposure to Abraaj

  • Air Arabia admits $336 million exposure to Abraaj funds.
  • Abraaj sells its Latam, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Turkey Funds to Colony Capital.

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates’ top securities regulator has asked UAE-listed companies to declare their exposure to Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj, which filed for provisional liquidation last week.
The Securities & Commodities Authority sent a letter earlier this week and companies had until Thursday to submit their responses, Obaid Al-Zaabi, chief executive of the regulator, told Reuters.
Air Arabia, a Dubai-listed low-cost carrier, said this week that it had a $336 million exposure to Abraaj, which is the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm. Shares in the airline plunged because of these links.
Al-Zaabi said some companies in the UAE had exposure to Abraaj, without naming them.
A court in the Cayman Islands, where Abraaj Holdings is registered, ordered this week that PwC be appointed as provisional liquidators of the company and Deloitte as liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Ltd.
Abraaj said that the latest restructuring agreement has received in-principle regulatory approval and is expected to close upon approval from the Cayman Islands court and other customary consents.
On Thursday, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which is the regulator of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), said it would discuss “various matters” with the liquidators and “will continue to work toward safeguarding the interests of investors.”
The DFSA is involved because Abraaj has an entity regulated in DIFC.
Abraaj Group agreed to sell its Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Turkey Funds management business to US investment management firm Colony Capital Inc, the companies said on Thursday.
The sale agreement comes after months of turmoil at Abraaj in the wake of its dispute with four of its investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and International Finance Corp. (IFC), over the use of their money in a $1 billion health care fund. The group has denied it misused the funds.
The sale is part of a provisional liquidation and restructuring as set out in a court order. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Colony Capital has also agreed to oversee, on an interim basis, other Abraaj group funds that are not being acquired so that the group and all its stakeholders have a “comprehensive global solution in place,” the companies said.
The other group funds include the $1 billion health care fund, and some legacy funds of the private equity group.
Sources told Reuters earlier that US buyout firm TPG was in talks with investors in Abraaj’s health care fund to take over management of the assets of the $1 billion fund.
The K-Electric asset, which is being sold in Pakistan and is owned by Abraaj Holdings, is also not part of the transaction.
Colony’s deal comes after other investors such as Cerberus Capital Management had also made offers for the Abraaj business before it filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands.
A unit of Abu Dhabi Financial Group earlier this week made a conditional offer to buy Abraaj’s management interest in all of its limited partnerships for $50 million, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Since Abraaj’s row with some investors became public early this year, it split its investment management business and holding company, while its founder Arif Naqvi stepped aside from the day-to-day running of its private equity fund unit and the firm halted its investment activities.
Tom Barrack, executive chairman of Colony Capital, said that he hoped that the transaction would enable the process of rebuilding on all sides and also bring an end to the speculation that has swirled around Abraaj over the past months.