There was a time when you couldn't keep Dubai International Capital (DIC) out of the headlines.
In the boom years, it seemed barely a week passed without a multibillion-dirham equity deal (Sony, Airbus), or the purchase of a glamorous foreign brand (Madame Tussauds), or a move into glitzy sports businesses (the ultimately fruitless pursuit of Liverpool football club).
I can think of no other private equity group that has had its name chanted by a crowd of football fans.
It's a sign of how times have changed, both in Dubai and specifically at DIC, that for more than a year now, the headlines have been rather less rapturous: debts; extensions; renegotiations and restructurings.
Like Dubai itself, DIC has spent the past 12 months getting on with the job of reconstruction. In that time it has dissolved the old board of directors, replaced a chief executive and chairman, got the agreement of most of its creditors to restructure some US$2.5 billion (Dh9.18bn) of debt, and sold down most of that sparkling global investment portfolio.
It was a comparatively low-key process with none of the big set-pieces of the Dubai World restructuring. DIC had fewer moving parts than Dubai World, and is itself just a cog, although a big one, in the wheels of the Dubai Holding conglomerate. But DIC has changed profoundly, and is set to change even more.
Perhaps most significantly, it is about to re-establish a full board of new directors. Since it was founded in 2004, DIC has always had a board to oversee the workings of the executive committee. It came as a shock to investment partners and creditors when the old board was dissolved in January last year with no replacement.
This is about to be rectified, I hear. The search is on for a handful of senior directors to form a new board. There will be representatives of the Emirati business elite, to safeguard the interests of the ultimate shareholder, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
There will also be some top-level independent non-executive directors to represent the interest of creditors and to ensure the highest standards of corporate governance are observed.
Given the nature of DIC's business, at least one of those appointments should be an expert in asset valuation. Some interesting names are being whispered in the corridors of the Dubai International Financial Centre to fill these positions, but the final decision on appointments rests with the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee, and it would be counterproductive to second guess that august body.
Until the new board is announced, David Smoot, who took over as the DIC chief executive last year, will continue the negotiations with creditors. Banks representing some 67 per cent of the company's outstanding debts have agreed to the terms of a restructuring of the $2.5bn of debt over six years, with a further $500 million extended over four years.
Some progress has been made on getting the agreement of all creditors to the new terms, but it is a slow process, and no timetable has been set to reach the 100 per cent agreement level.
While these talks go on with creditors, who are said to be supportive, understanding and patient, Mr Smoot will continue to implement the business plan already agreed with the shareholders and creditors.
DIC is getting back to what it was always intended to be: a private equity investment company focused on European corporations and Middle East infrastructure.
It retains 100 per cent ownership of some major investments, including Doncasters, the UK engineering firm, and Travelodge, the British budget hotels business. It has been forced to reduce interests elsewhere, but still has majority control of the German alumina products manufacturer Almatis, and a very small interest in the UK's Alliance Medical.
Even with the cash-squeeze, DIC has invested $300m in these assets in the past year.
Outside Europe, DIC's main direct interests are in manufacturing, hotels and retail in the UAE, and in infrastructure across the Mena region via investment funds. Mainly in Jordan and Egypt, these investments are vulnerable to, but so far unaffected by, the political turmoil in the region.
There has been speculation that substantial parts of this portfolio is up for grabs, even subject to a fire-sale to satisfy out-of-pocket investors and creditors. The feeling within the company is entirely the opposite: it is under no pressure from creditors, investors or the shareholders to get rid of any assets at unrealistic prices.
DIC expects values to rise as economic recovery takes off, and positions to be realised at appropriate valuations when opportunities arise, especially in parts of the portfolio outside Europe.
But that is the normal business of a private equity group, which DIC is once again in the process of becoming, rather than a collector of global investment baubles.