Court appoints PwC as joint liquidators for Abraaj after petition from Carey Olsen

Carey Olsen has successfully managed to have PwC appointed as joint provisional liquidators over Abraaj Holdings, the largest private equity investment group in the Middle East.

The petition was granted by a court in the Cayman Islands amid opposition from some creditors.

Abraaj, the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm, had filed a petition in the Cayman Islands last week, asking the court to appoint provisional liquidators for the embattled company. Abraaj’s $1bn healthcare fund has had a fallout with several investors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Simon Conway, Michael Jervis and Mo Farzadi of PwC will be provisional liquidators for Abraaj Holdings. Deloitte will take the same role with Abraaj Investment Management. The court granted the order following a contested hearing this week.  The Carey Olsen team was led by Nick Bullmore on the corporate side and Jan Golaszewski and Peter Sherwood on the insolvency side.

Jan Golaszewski, head of Carey Olsen’s litigation and insolvency team in the Cayman Islands, said: “A court supervised restructuring programme is a positive outcome for our client. It gives Abraaj Holdings a sound structure to continue to look after the best interests of its stakeholders and creditors.”

The Abraaj group founder, Arif Naqvi, said in a statement: “We are pleased with this outcome and grateful to the court for its careful consideration of the issues and positive judgment. This order validates the position consistently maintained by Abraaj that an orderly restructuring, under the guidance of a highly experienced team of Joint Provisional Liquidators (JPL), can ensure the outcomes we seek for the company and its creditors. We are wholly committed to supporting the JPLs through this process and ensuring stability and value maximization for all parties”.

Carey Olsen has one of the largest dispute resolution and insolvency practices in the offshore legal field, led by 18 partners across nine international offices.

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