$1.6bn Abraaj fund investors hire advisers to help recover debt

Investors in the $1.6bn Abraaj Group fund have hired advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal to help recover money owed by the troubled Middle Eastern private equity firm.

The New York-based company will represent Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV’s backers in talks with liquidators as they seek to recover more than $99 million owed by the Dubai-based buyout firm, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

As reported by International Investment, court-appointed liquidators Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers are trying to settle more than $1 billion of debt owed by Abraaj, once one of the most influential emerging-market investors until its demise this year.

Alvarez will also represent the fund if it’s elected to a liquidators’ committee for Abraaj Investment Management Ltd., which is the buyout firm’s asset management business.

The private equity firm is undergoing a court-supervised restructuring after it was found to have borrowed money from some of its own funds to meet operating expenses without investors’ consent, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Arif Naqvi, the 58-year-old founder surrendered control of Dubai-based Abraaj in June after investors in a $1 billion healthcare fund managed by the firm, including Bill and Melinda Gates, demanded an investigation be made into claims that money from the fund had been misused.

So far, Abraaj has denied any wrongdoing, while Naqvi remains outside the UAE after a public prosecutor had previously issued a warrant for his arrest.

Sharjah-based Crescent Group founder Hamid Jafar has filed a $217 million bounced cheque case against Naqvi, less than two weeks after both parties reached an out of court agreement for a $300 million bounced cheque case.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pedro Gonçalves
Pedro Gonçalves is Financial Correspondent at International Investment.

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