Dubai: Two top executives and the former CEO of Damas have collectively pledged to repay nearly $165 million in "unauthorised transactions" that led to the chief executive's departure, according to the company.
"The three Abdullah brothers have signed a formal settlement agreement with the company in which they have committed to repay in full and in cash the full value of the transactions under review," said a statement posted on the Dubai-based jeweller’s website.
The disclosure of the unauthorised transactions led to the resignation of former Damas CEO Tawhid Abdullah. Soon after his resignation, Abdullah denied being involved in any unauthorised transactions. Abdullah was quoted by Arabic daily Al Khaleej: "'The news about me making unauthorised transactions is not true."
Abdullah was replaced by Hisham Ashour, the former deputy chief executive effective. One of the former chief executive's brothers is current Damas chairman TawfiqueAbdullah.
An oversight committee was set up by Damas on October 12 which has been "in discussion with members of the Abdullah family to identify which of their assets may be available to be transferred to the company under the existing creditor arrangements of the Abdullah family and to perform a valuation of such assets".
After assuming his new position, Ashour said “the business fundamentals remain strong as will be apparent when we announce our results for the first half of 2009 in November".
A statement issued by Damas earlier read: “The Abdullah brothers, being founding members and current owners of more than 50 per cent of the shares of the company, fully stand behind the company, and have agreed to commit the necessary assets to secure and repay in full any unauthorised transactions. The board remains fully committed to the highest standards of corporate governance, and has implemented procedures to ensure that the repayment is conducted in an appropriate and timely manner and that all transactions are fully scrutinised in the future to prevent a recurrence. A special committee of the board is appointing an independent global accountancy firm to conduct an independent review and an international law firm to assist in analysis of the transactions.”