Actis to push for investor vote on Abraaj fund takeover

Pedro Gonçalves
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Actis to push for investor vote on Abraaj fund takeover

London-based Actis is preparing to push an investor vote next week on its takeover proposal of one of Abraaj's biggest funds. The private equity firm is seeking protection from potential legal claims against the Dubai buyout group, Reuters reports.

Actis has moved to take control of Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV) but the plan was sidetracked as the British firm sought legal protection from any claims surrounding allegations of missing money, three sources close to the matter said earlier.

Abraaj, founded by Arif Naqvi in 2002, was the largest buyout fund in the Middle East and North Africa until it collapsed last year after the fallout from a row with investors, including the Gates Foundation, over the use of their money in a $1bn healthcare fund.

Actis, which has about $7.8bn invested globally, has been in talks since at least October to reach the required threshold of 75% of investor support for its bid for the fund, originally valued at $1.6bn.

Previously scheduled investor votes were pushed back, but Actis will begin a voting process from next week, said the source close to Actis. 

Separate forensic audits by Deloitte and Alvarez & Marsal are reviewing allegations of missing money from the fund, which sources have estimated could amount to about $500m.

Abraaj Holdings and Abraaj Investment Management filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands in June last year and their court-appointed joint provisional liquidators, Deloitte and PwC, are overseeing the restructuring of Abraaj's debt.