An inner survey by Drake & Scull International into accused violations by the previous management has resulted in the information that former CEO Khaldoun Al Tabari and his daughter owe the contracting firm as much as AED1 billion ($272.3 million), according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The amount extends the market value of the Dubai-based company, whose shares plunged about 70 percent this year – the most among companies listed in Dubai.
Drake & Scull stated the previous month that it had completed the probe and had extended the report to authorities in the United Arab Emirates. The central bank asked lenders to freeze accounts belonging to Al Tabari and his family, citing an order by Abu Dhabi’s public prosecutor.
Al Tabari could face charges if the UAE authorities decide to follow-up with their own investigation and reach similar conclusions, one of the people said.
Bloomberg News contacted the former CEO several times for the story since Wednesday. He acknowledged the messages but didn’t comment. His daughter, Zeina Al Tabari, who also served as a senior executive, declined to comment.
Drake & Scull has faced mounting losses since 2015 as contractors in the Gulf suffered from delayed government payments after the drop in oil prices. The company reported a loss of AED1.18 billion ($321 million) in 2017. Last week, it appointed its fourth chief financial officer in three years.
“Investors are using the news as a catalyst after the massive sell down of shares,” said Nabil Al Rantisi, managing director at Daman Investments in Dubai. “Recovery of this amount won’t be easy and may not happen at all.”
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