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Tabreed Strategic Business Review Leads to Recapitalization Program

Monday, March 08, 2010

Un-audited full-year results for 2009 announced

Highlights:

  • Total revenues for 2009: AED 742 million (2008: AED 735 million)
  • Gross profit was AED 291 million; after impairments, net loss (Tabreed’s share) was AED 1,118 million for 2009
  • Revenue from the core chilled water business rose 29 % and gross profit 31 % over 2008

National Central Cooling Company PJSC (‘Tabreed’), the Abu Dhabi-based utility company, released its un-audited 2009 year-end financial results today. The results revealed that for the twelve months ended 31 December 2009, total revenues were AED 742 million – a slight increase over 2008 figures. Tabreed’s gross profit was AED 291 million in 2009. However, after finance costs, results from associated companies, a non-cash impairment charge and other items, Tabreed recorded a loss of AED 1,118 million for the year. This compares with a profit of AED 73 million in 2008.

Due to the challenges facing Tabreed, the Board of Directors appointed a new management team in mid-2009 which comprised of seasoned utility sector experts. The team undertook a comprehensive review of Tabreed’s project portfolio, contracts, business plan, financial performance, liquidity position and overall capital structure. Based on this review, the management team recommended, and the Board of Directors approved:

  • Declaring a non-cash impairment charge of AED 1,161 million for 2009 to reflect the longterm value of projects in light of the current difficult economic climate; and
  • A short-term financing facility from Mubadala Development Company PJSC (‘Mubadala’) of AED 1.3 billion to provide funding while Tabreed completes the recapitalization program. As part of the recapitalization program, this senior-debt financing will be available until the end of 2010 and may be converted to long-term capital.

The Board also approved submitting to the shareholders a recapitalization plan to achieve a stable longterm financial profile and capital structure, the elements of which include:

  • Entering into discussions with strategic investors to provide long-term capital necessary to support the development of the business. Options for new capital include a private placement and/or public offering; and
  • Proactively engaging with creditors to support the recapitalization.

By mid-April 2010 the Board intends to call for an Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) of the shareholders to vote on resolutions authorizing the Board to conclude a recapitalization of the company through one or more of: a capital reduction, issuance of new capital raising instruments and arrangements with creditors, banks and Sukuk holders.

Tabreed will continue to liaise closely with SCA throughout the recapitalization program.

Tabreed Board Chairman, Khadem Al Qubaisi commented: “Tabreed’s Board of Directors requested a strategic review in order to understand the challenges facing the company’s finances and business model. Such a review was essential in the wake of the economic downturn, which hit Tabreed at the peak of an unprecedented growth program. In parallel with the review, the Board tasked the new management team with the immediate implementation of corporate governance and process controls with a priority of achieving efficiencies both in the business model and cost structure. The recommendations of the Board announced today will help ensure that Tabreed can continue to support infrastructure needs as well as provide long term competitive returns for investors.”

Tabreed CEO, Sujit S. Parhar commented: “Over the course of 2009, we initiated a process of reviewing the business model and cost structure which has led to re-engineering of the company so we could take decisive action to address the challenges facing the business.”

“In addition to today’s announcement, the review has led us to focus on value-engineering future plants and networks. Our priority is to work according to strict needs-assessments, best-in-class design, delivery and operations and ensure firm commitments from customers in advance of construction as well as to secure a long-term financing structure for the business. The changes we have made in these difficult times are designed to better position Tabreed to deliver consistent returns for its shareholders over time. Completion of the recapitalization of Tabreed will allow us to focus on growing our core business and safeguarding our quality assets. The short-term financing from Mubadala will allow us to continue to operate through the recapitalization program.”

Un-audited 2009 Results and Corporate Highlights:

  • Revenues from the company’s core business of chilled water increased 29 per cent in 2009 as three new plants (UAE University at Al Ain, Yas Island and T-7) came online during the year and several new customers were connected. Total billed capacity for chilled water in 2009 was 339,572 tonnes, an increase of 65,371 tonnes over 2008.
  • Three new cooling plants came online in 2009, bringing Tabreed’s total installed cooling capacity to 395,100 tonnes across 36 plants. In addition, 16 cooling plants and two plant expansions were under construction as of 31 December 2009, of which 13 plants and one plant expansion are expected to come online in 2010 adding a further 148,300 tonnes of cooling capacity.
  • Contracting revenues in 2009 derived from Tabreed’s 100 per cent owned contracting subsidiary Gulf Energy Systems, increased by 38 per cent over 2008, due to major piping network contracts including Sowah Island and Reem Island.
  • Revenues from the company’s building services division which includes Ian Banham & Associates, I2I and Cooltech declined by 46 per cent in 2009 over 2008 largely due to the regional real estate slowdown.

The results announced today are un-audited and as such are subject to change until the audit is completed.

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