Adviser highlights ‘accounting irregularities’ at GP Global

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Troubled commodities trader GP Global Group has “accounting irregularities” in its books, according to the restructuring adviser hired to salvage the company’s assets.

In a presentation seen by Bloomberg News, FTI Consulting warned that unsecured lenders in the holding company for the group could expect to recover between 0 percent and 27.5 percent of their debts.

It marks an acknowledgment of the seriousness of the situation at the United Arab Emirates-based commodities firm, which trades oil products as well as operating storage facilities and a refinery in Hamriyah and Fujairah.

Lenders have more than $1 billion in exposure to the company, Bloomberg reported earlier this month, citing people with knowledge of the situation. Known as Gulf Petrochem Group until 2018, GP Global said in July it was restructuring its finances after lenders withdrew credit lines.

A Gulf Petrochem storage terminal on the coast of the strategic emirate of Fujeirah

In the presentation, FTI Consulting told creditors it’s in their best interest to allow an overhaul and asset sales rather than liquidation. Liquidation “would likely result in a nil return to creditors.”

FTI identified trade finance irregularities during its initial investigation, and said banks are concerned about “trading practices and accounting irregularities.” That makes it unlikely GP Global will find a “white knight” to rescue it. Instead it’s proposing asset sales.

The company has received expressions of interest from 15 parties as it attempts to sell its terminals and refinery, and final bids are due by Oct. 23, according to the presentation. The Goel family, who own the company, are proposing to contribute $65 million, to be paid over three years, as part of any restructuring.

A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the presentation beyond a statement in which the company noted that a restructuring plan had been submitted to stakeholders and said that “the initial feedback to us seems positive.”

Bloomberg News
Financial reporting Accounting fraud FTI Consulting Commodities Energy industry International accounting