Dubai Said to Work With Citigroup on Sale of Bank Muscat Stake

  • Company is in talks to sell 12% stake valued at $300 million
  • Asset said to attract local pension funds, family investors

Dubai Financial Group LLC is working with Citigroup Inc. to find a buyer for its stake in Omani lender Bank Muscat SAOG after the sale was triggered by an agreement with creditors, according to people familiar with the matter.

The 12 percent stake is worth about $300 million based on current market prices, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s drawing interest from local pension funds and family offices in Oman, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. No final decision has been made, and an agreement hasn’t been reached with any of the parties, according to the people.

The firm needs the funds to repay its creditor Natixis SA. The French firm initiated the sale under the terms of a restructuring deal Dubai Financial made with lenders more than two years ago, people familiar with the matter said in May. As part of the agreement, Dubai Financial could be compelled to sell its holdings in Bank Muscat and EFG-Hermes Holding SAE if it hadn’t repaid debts by the end of March. Natixis bought the EFG-Hermes stake itself last month.

A representative for Dubai Holding LLC, which controls Dubai Financial, declined to comment. A spokesman for Citigroup didn’t have an immediate comment.

Dubai Holding was among several companies in the United Arab Emirates that were forced to delay loan repayments arranged before property prices slumped and credit markets froze after the 2008 global credit crisis.

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