Former CEO Tabari said to owe Dubai's Drake & Scull $272m

The central bank has reportedly “asked lenders to freeze accounts” belonging to Khaldoun Tabari, who stepped down as CEO in 2016

Khaldon Tabari is former CEO of Dubai contractor, Drake & Scull International.
Khaldon Tabari is former CEO of Dubai contractor, Drake & Scull International.

Drake & Scull’s former chief executive officer (CEO) Khaldoun Tabari, reportedly owes the contracting firm up to $272.3m (AED1bn).

His daughter, Zeina Tabari, is also said to owe a part of that figure. 

The amount reportedly exceeds the market value of the listed company, which last month announced the completion of a probe into alleged violations by its previous management team.

In a filing to the Dubai bourse at the time, Drake & Scull said the investigation’s findings had been forwarded to UAE authorities.

According to a Bloomberg report cited by Arabian Business, the central bank has “asked lenders to freeze accounts belonging to Tabari and his family”, in line with an order reportedly issued by Abu Dhabi’s public prosecutor.

READ: Drake & Scull's alleged 'violations' passed to UAE authorities

“Tabari could face charges if the UAE authorities decide to follow-up with their own investigation and reach similar conclusions,” a source told Bloomberg.

The Tabaris did not comment, the report added.

Tabari submitted his resignation to Drake & Scull’s board in August 2016, with Wael Allan – the contracting outfit’s former chief operating officer – taking over as CEO in October 2016.

Allan termination was reported in August 2017, following the announcement of a $54.2m (AED199m) net loss for that year’s second quarter.

The contractor has reported better results in 2018, following a corporate overhaul that led to a management shake-up, and the subsequent appointment of new group chief executive, Dr Fadi Feghali.

Drake & Scull posted profit growth of $1.9m (AED7m) for Q1 2018, swinging from a net loss of $228m (AED839m) year-on-year.

In a missive to the Dubai bourse, the company said "positive momentum" helped it to grow as it unlocked extra value in key segments that had been affected by the impact of legacy issues.

The company said its total project backlog was worth $1.4bn (AED5.4bn), supported by $83m (AED305m) worth of projects that had been secured since January 2018.

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