Former executive files claim against Abraaj Group

Sivendran Vettivetpillai has initiated a case with a claim worth $2.92m in the DIFC Courts

Abraaj Group chief executive Arif Naqvi, who remains in the UK to avoid risking arrest in Dubai oversaw the management of around $14bn assets at the peak of private equity fund's growth. Sarah Dea / The National
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A former executive at the embattled Abraaj Group, which is going into a court-supervised liquidation after it was found to have misused investor funds, has filed a case with a claim worth $2.92m against the firm in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The case was filed by Sivendran Vettivetpillai, who formerly oversaw impact investing at Abraaj, according to a filing at DIFC Courts, Bloomberg reported.

Mr Vettivetpillai is currently chief executive officer at Zurich-headquartered investment firm LGT Impact.

Abraaj, one of the region's largest private equity firms with around $14bn assets under management at its peak, filed for provisional liquidation earlier this month after a creditor attempted to force it into bankruptcy proceedings.

Last week, an arrest warrant was issued for its founder Arif Naqvi, regarding a cheque written as a security guarantee for $300 million loan provided by Hamid Jafar, an Abraaj board member and chairman of Sharjah-based Crescent Group. It is alleged that the cheque was knowingly issued despite insufficient funds.

Meanwhile, there remains sufficient interest in Abraaj's portfolio, with a Cayman Islands court set to rule on July 11 whether to approve US-based Colony Capital's deal to acquire four of Abraaj's investment funds, Reuters reported citing three sources.

Abraaj's chairman Sean Cleary has resigned saying the appointment of joint provisional liquidators made his role within the Group redundant. He said he remained "fully supportive" of the restructuring process.

Concerns also have emerged about Abraaj's ability to pay its employees, with one Bloomberg report saying the company required around $20m to fund its end-of-service payments.


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