Bloomberg News

Saudi Arabia’s Algosaibi Wins Cayman Judgment Against Al-Sanea

November 09, 2011

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Maan al-Sanea, founder of Saudi Arabia’s Saad Group, must pay damages to competitor Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co. for conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty, a judge ruled in the Cayman Islands.

Al-Sanea failed to file a defense in the case in which he’s accused of taking out billions of dollars in fraudulent loans in Algosaibi’s name when he was working for the company, according to a Nov. 7 default judgment from the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands. Damages will be determined later, it said.

“Al-Sanea has repeatedly said he is waiting for his day in court to defend the charges against him,” Eric Lewis, a legal coordinator for Algosaibi, said in the statement after the judgment was issued. “Clearly, he cannot defend the fraud charges on the merits and the court has acted accordingly.”

The case is part of a global dispute between the companies after they defaulted in 2009 on a total of about $15.7 billion in loans from more than 100 banks. Al-Sanea, one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men, married into the Algosaibi family before founding Saad Group. He faces claims he forged signatures to take out as much as $10 billion in fake loans through Algosaibi’s Money Exchange unit, which he ran.

Al-Sanea also faces a fraud lawsuit in New York and investigations in Bahrain and Switzerland.

Tim Robertson, Saad Group’s London-based spokesman, declined to comment. Al-Sanea has repeatedly denied the allegations and said Algosaibi knew of the loans he took out.

The Cayman Islands court in September dismissed a $9.2 billion asset freeze against al-Sanea after Algosaibi admitted failing to disclose evidence from a related case filed by HSBC Holdings Plc and other banks in London. Algosaibi admitted liability in that case after deciding the judge would reject its claim that the losses were a result of fraud by al-Sanea.

Saad has challenged the jurisdiction of the Cayman Islands court.

--Editors: Anthony Aarons, Heather Smith

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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