DIC confirms board dissolution

The firm fell under control of its debt-laden parent, Dubai Holding, in January, the same month Sameer Al Ansari resigned as executive chairman.

Dubai International Capital (DIC) ceased to have its own board six months ago. The development was revealed alongside media reports over the weekend that former head Sameer Al Ansari had allegedly resigned his non-executive board chairmanship.

“Resigned” is the wrong term, a spokesperson told PEO, highlighting a statement issued Sunday that explained the board was dissolved in January, putting DIC directly under the control of beleaguered parent Dubai Holding. The statement noted that all of the board’s subcommittees, including the investment and audit committees, remained intact.

Sameer Al Ansari

In late January, Al Ansari gave up his role as executive chairman of DIC to become a non-executive chairman at the government-funded investment firm. That followed a September 2009 change, when Al Ansari resigned as CEO in order to assume the role of chief executive officer at SHUAA Capital.

Al Ansari’s title switches followed a significant strategy change for DIC, which in February 2009 shifted its focus from dealmaking to portfolio monitoring as a result of the economic crisis.

In 2007, the firm had more than $13 billion under management, according to its annual report, and made hefty investments in companies including Merlin Entertainments, Travelodge and Almatis (which has filed for bankruptcy).  It has $2.6 billion in debt coming due next year, with $1.25 billion due this month according to Zawya Dow Jones, which noted the firm last month asked its lenders for a three-month extension.