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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Dana Gas says Sharjah court issues anti-suit injunction against sukukholder BlackRock

English court also refuses the firm's appeal of previous UK rulings in favour of holders of $700m sukuk

A Dana Gas facility in Iraqi Kurdistan. Dana Gas declared in June last year its Islamic bonds that were due in October illegal under current Sharia rules, angering its bondholders. WAM
A Dana Gas facility in Iraqi Kurdistan. Dana Gas declared in June last year its Islamic bonds that were due in October illegal under current Sharia rules, angering its bondholders. WAM

Dana Gas, the Sharjah company tangled in legal battles over the legality of its $700 million sukuk, said on Monday a UAE court has issued a new anti-suit injunction against BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager that holds Islamic bonds issued by the company.

“The UAE Court has also joined Blackrock Global Allocation Fund (“BlackRock”) to the UAE proceedings and issued a new Anti-Suit injunction against BlackRock, the Delegate, Trustee and Security Agent,” Dana Gas said in a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

The injunction prevents BlackRock, the Delegate, Trustee and Security Agent from “directly or indirectly from taking any proceedings against Dana Gas or its shareholders in the UAE and the United Kingdom on the ground of the British orders and judgements rendered in Case No. FL-000004-2017 [in England] and the related orders and rulings until these judgements and rulings are referred to the UAE judiciary to resolve their enforceability in the UAE.”

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Last year, Dana stunned sukuk holders – which include Goldman Sachs – when it claimed the agreements for the Islamic bonds (which matured in October) were no longer valid due to changes in Sharia law. The company is involved in court disputes in England and Sharjah over the sukuk’s terms.

The Abu Dhabi-listed company also said that the English Court of Appeal refused on March 20 Dana Gas’ application to appeal the English High Court order of November 17 and February 1. The November 17 ruling by Judge George Leggatt said that aspects of its English-law sukuk purchase undertaking were valid and enforceable. Dana Gas had applied for an appeal at the English Court of Appeal despite a previous attempt to set aside the judgment in a three-day hearing that concluded in early February ended in failure, with Judge Leggatt refusing the company permission to appeal his decisions.

Dana Gas said on Sunday it will seek shareholder approval to distribute a cash dividend for 2017 for the first time ever.

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