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September 8, 2018

Abraaj fund unit that managed $14 billion gets $1 bid


September 8, 2018

DUBAI: Abraaj Group’s fund unit, which managed about $14 billion at its peak and was one of the most influential emerging market investors, received a bid from private equity firm Actis for $1, people familiar with the matter said.

Bloomberg reported that the Chicago-based Vistria Group, Rohatyn Group, Kuwait’s Agility Public Warehousing Co. and Abu Dhabi Financial Group also made offers for the floundering Middle Eastern buyout firm’s business, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

Abraaj’s liquidators are also getting offers for regional operations within the unit, the people said.

Colony Capital Inc., whose earlier bid for Abraaj’s entire fund business was rejected, made an offer for its Latin American operations, while Helios Capital Management is bidding for the Africa platform, they said.

NBK Capital, the investment banking unit of National Bank of Kuwait, made an offer for Abraaj’s Middle East and North Africa business, they said.

London-based investment firm Centricus, run by co-founders Nizar Al-Bassam and Dalinc Ariburnu, made an offer to buy the Turkish and South East Asian portions of the business, two of the people said.

Brookfield Asset Management may also be interested in parts of the unit, the people said.

No final decisions have been made and the unit

has received offers from

other bidders, too, the people said.

Representatives for Vistria and Rohatyn didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Agility said it has submitted “a conditional non-binding offer” to acquire one of Abraaj’s units. Representatives for Abraaj’s liquidators, Actis, Helios, ADFG, Brookfield, NBK, Colony and Centricus declined to comment.

Abraaj’s court-appointed restructuring team is seeking to settle more than $1 billion in debts through asset sales, but the process of breaking up one of the most influential emerging-market investors has proven to be complicated. Deloitte LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP are seeking additional offers for the fund business after its investors rejected earlier bids, people familiar with the matter have said.

The liquidators plan to present the offers to limited partners and choose buyers by Friday, the people said. Ahead of its collapse earlier this year, Abraaj 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.

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