Responding to the Oil Industry Downturn: Challenges to Debt Restructuring in the UAE

How should a UAE oil services company address its cash flow and debt service issues during the market downturn?

Pierre Yared  | Summer 2018
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ABC Services provided engineering, procurement and construction services primarily to the UAE’s oil industry. Under the EPC model, contractors took on the financial responsibility for designing and building a project, betting that the contract’s value would exceed these expenses, and that they would profit from the difference. ABC grew quickly from 2004 to 2011 amid easy energy-market conditions. However, ABC’s fortunes shifted along with those of much of the region in the second half of 2014, when crude oil prices fell by more than half. Further exacerbating ABC’s financial situation, the slowdown exposed problems with ABC’s accounting practices which would require rectifying. By late 2015, ABS faced a loan principal payment it couldn’t afford in a country that considered a company’s insolvency a criminal offense until late 2016. The new law, though not as far-reaching as the United States’ Chapter 11 option, did outline alternate courses of action for a company in financial distress. This case ask students to consider what ABC ought to do to right itself.

Case ID: 190301

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