Gulf Navigation chairman and more than half of board members resign

Gulf Navigation has announced the departure of more than half of its board of directors, including its chairman, just days before a crucial general assembly meeting. The beleaguered Dubai-based shipping company on Thursday announced the resignation of its chairman Hazza Al Qahtani and six other board members, in a posting on the Dubai Financial Market […]

Gulf Navigation has announced the departure of more than half of its board of directors, including its chairman, just days before a crucial general assembly meeting.

The beleaguered Dubai-based shipping company on Thursday announced the resignation of its chairman Hazza Al Qahtani and six other board members, in a posting on the Dubai Financial Market website.

No details were given for their departure, with no word on their replacements.

The move leaves vice chairman Salem Ali Al Zaabi as the most senior member of the board.

Mr Al Zaabi is also director of the UAE’s Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime.

Gulf Navigation did not respond to requests comment.

The resignations come four days before the company is scheduled to hold a general assembly meeting to discuss the issue of US$60 million worth of convertible bonds as part of an agreement with creditors in August.

The meeting was due to take place this week, but was postponed due to lack of quorum.

Speculation has risen in recent months that distressed investment specialist the Abu Dhabi Financial Group is planning to acquire a controlling shareholding in the company with a view to overhauling its operations.

The investors increased its shareholding in the company to 5.19 per cent in August, subsequently stating that the stake would be raised above 50 per cent “if the price was right”.

ADFG declined to comment.

Gulf Navigation’s shares closed down 2.46 per cent at 60 fils yesterday before the news was released to the stock market.

The stock has been one of the brightest performers on the Dubai Financial Market in recent months, climbing 3.5 per cent in the past month, compared with a 7.3 per cent drop for the main index.

The company has been undergoing a turnaround and in the third quarter reported a profit of Dh5.6 million for period, a jump of almost 70 per cent year- on-year. Its liabilities stood at Dh628m at the end of September, “in breach of specified covenants with its lenders”, according to its third quarter financial statement.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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Source: Business

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