A global commodities processing, distribution and trading business approached our team for advice following financial irregularities.

The client

Our client is a US$5 billion turnover global operation, commodities processing, distribution and trading business, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. 

After trade finance irregularities valued in excess of US$500m were exposed, we were approached by the shareholders and board to intervene.

What we did

Within 48 hours of instruction, we had spoken to c.40 trade-finance, bilateral and syndicated lenders within Europe, the GCC countries and India and secured an informal standstill whilst further investigations were undertaken. We also assisted the group with public relations initiatives to manage press coverage across its main trading regions. 

Despite travel restrictions as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, we deployed a team to the UAE to implement a business stabilisation and group restructuring exercise involving the disposal of non-core assets and subsidiaries. 

Over a six-week period we continued to report to lenders and undertook a detailed appraisal of the group’s assets, which we used to publish over 15 information memoranda. We introduced an independent Chief Restructuring Officer and worked alongside his office to help develop the restructuring plans.  

The outcome

Despite the group’s imminent collapse at the point of instruction, we successfully stabilised the situation and the built the foundations upon which the Chief Restructuring Officer was able to develop and implement a credible restructuring plan. 

Our key deliverables were the crisis management plan which facilitated consistent and honest communication to the group’s lenders, and the detailed vendor due diligence and lead advisory services which assisted the Chief Restructuring Officer’s work. 

The group continues to trade and has avoided formal insolvency processes.