GFH board approves settlement of lawsuits

GFH says its board has approved settlement arrangements with a series of counterparties related to an undisclosed number of “awarded and pending” lawsuits.

The Bahraini investment group said yesterday that its board has “resolved to approve the proposed settlements with assets of an estimated value ranging between US$350 million and $400m, subject to the counterparties’ fulfilment of their obligations under the settlement agreements and GFH’s collection of the assets.”

GFH said that the estimated value of the assets is preliminary and subject to approval by auditors and regulators but that the recoveries “will have a positive impact on GFH’s financials for Q4 2016”.

The company declined to give details of the lawsuits and the assets in question. GFH has been embroiled in several legal cases over the past years after the company was hit hard by the global financial crisis, resulting in multiple debt restructurings.

The company won a series of cases last year, recovering more than $150m against several parties. In April this year it said it had recovered about $4m in an $8.7m arbitration award made in Bahrain against one of its former chairmen.

The ratings agency Fitch raised its outlook on GFH to positive from stable earlier this month, commending efforts to strengthen the company’s balance sheet by paying down debt and reshaping the business model with a focus on income-generating investments.

GFH’s shares, listed on the Dubai stock market, yesterday closed down 2.6 per cent at Dh1.1.

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