Creditors of Saad Investments Company Ltd (SICL) held their first official meeting on Thursday, accountancy firm Grant Thornton said, taking a next step in the troubled firm's restructuring process.

Banks are seeking repayment of a loan of up to $2.8 billion taken out in 2007 by Cayman Islands-registered SICL, a unit of Saudi investment firm Saad Group.

The meeting took place in the Cayman Islands, SICL's court-appointed liquidator Grant Thornton said in a statement.

A spokesman for Saad Group declined to comment.

Regulators and bankers are grappling with up to $22 billion of debt restructurings at Saad and a second Saudi firm, Algosaibi, viewed by some as the biggest financial blow to the region since the global credit crisis began.

The two groups are involved in a complex legal dispute. Algosaibi said in October it would ask a New York court for a default judgment against the billionaire head of Saad, Maan al-Sanea, over allegations he defrauded the company out of $10 billion.

A Cayman Islands court on Sept 18 appointed Hugh Dickson, Stephen Akers and Mark Byers of Grant Thornton as joint official liquidators of SICL, the accountancy firm said, after hearing a winding-up order from creditors.

In addition to SICL, the Cayman court has appointed Grant Thornton liquidators to a further nine Saad Group companies, the accountancy firm said.

One of these companies is Singularis Holdings, which acquired a 3 percent stake in HSBC in 2007.

In July, a Cayman court froze the assets of SICL and a number of other international Saad units.

(Reporting by Tom Freke; editing by Simon Jessop and Andrew Callus)