Abraaj Group chief executive Arif Naqvi. World Economic Forum
Abraaj Group chief executive Arif Naqvi. World Economic Forum

Abraaj restructuring request approved by Cayman Islands court



Abraaj Group said on Tuesday a Cayman Islands court approved a request by the embattled buyout firm for a provisional liquidation of the business, enabling a court-supervised restructuring and protection of stakeholders’ rights.

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands appointed Simon Conway of PwC Corporate Finance and Recovery (Cayman) and Michael Jervis and Mohammed Farzadi of PricewaterhouseCoopers, as joint provisional liquidators (JPLs) of Abraaj Holdings, during a hearing on Monday, Abraaj said in a statement.

“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, can ensure the outcomes we seek for the company and its creditors,” said Arif Naqvi, founder and chief executive of the Abraaj Group.

The court also approved a request by Abraaj Investment Management Limited (AIML) for a court-supervised restructuring of Abraaj’s fund management business and appointed David Soden and Stuart Sybersma of Deloitte as JPLs. Abraaj has been hoping to sell the funds business, which was separated from the holdings company in February when the group reorganised its structure and appointed Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu as co-chief executives of AIML.

The court supervised restructurings will have “minimum impact on the day-to-day operations of the management of the funds and their portfolio companies”, the statement from Abraaj added.

At the same time, they will enable Abraaj to restructure its liabilities and pursue the sale of the funds management business under the supervision of the court and in the interest of the majority of stakeholders.

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“It is a smart and good outcome for the creditors and the company,” said Khalid Howladar, managing director of credit and sukuk advisory Acreditus. “The JPL appointments give Abraaj the breathing space to negotiate more effectively with prospective buyers and hence realise better value for creditors. In addition, their oversight will crucially provide independent and trusted governance for all parties involved.”

“A liquidation-triggered fire sale of assets would destroy a lot of value and particularly impact the unsecured creditors.”

A secured creditor is a lender or creditor that extends capital or is associated with an investment that is backed by collateral.

The Middle East’s biggest private equity company, which at its peak had more than $13.6bn of assets under management, is reeling from allegations that it misused funds in a healthcare investment vehicle. The $1bn Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund deployed capital from investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, the UK’s CDC Group and Proparco Group of France.

The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times in February claimed that some of around 24 investors had hired investigators to find out what had happened to some of the money invested in the fund. Abraaj denies any wrongdoing.

The group is trying to reorganise its business, and sell its funds management unit along with its stakes in other companies to resolve liquidity issues.

“Our role is to manage the restructuring of Abraaj Holdings in an orderly fashion, safeguard the assets of the company, and ensure that the interests of creditors, employees and broader stakeholders are fully served,” Mr Jervis said in the statement on Tuesday.

“The court order enables the company to swiftly move into a stable phase of operations whereby restructuring plans and asset disposals can be executed in a protected and controlled environment.”

ADCM, a Cayman Islands-registered unit of Abu Dhabi Financial Group, has made a conditional offer to buy Abraaj’s management interest in all of its limited partnerships for $50m, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday.

ADFG declined to comment when contacted by The National.

Match info

Uefa Champions League Group F

Manchester City v Hoffenheim, midnight (Wednesday, UAE)

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday (all kick-offs UAE time)

Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin (10.30pm)

Saturday

Freiburg v Werder Bremen (5.30pm)

Paderborn v Hoffenheim (5.30pm)

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund (5.30pm)

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Sunday

Schalke v Augsburg (3.30pm)

Mainz v RB Leipzig (5.30pm)

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf (8pm)

How to avoid getting scammed
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3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

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Rating: 4.5/5

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

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SMEs in the UAE are defined by the number of employees, annual turnover and sector. For example, a “small company” in the services industry has six to 50 employees with a turnover of more than Dh2 million up to Dh20m, while in the manufacturing industry the requirements are 10 to 100 employees with a turnover of more than Dh3m up to Dh50m, according to Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development.

A “medium-sized company” can either have staff of 51 to 200 employees or 101 to 250 employees, and a turnover less than or equal to Dh200m or Dh250m, again depending on whether the business is in the trading, manufacturing or services sectors. 

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Artist: Kokoroko
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Rating: 3.5/5

THE SPECS

BMW X7 xDrive 50i

Engine: 4.4-litre V8

Transmission: Eight-speed Steptronic transmission

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Emergency phone numbers in the UAE

Estijaba – 8001717 –  number to call to request coronavirus testing

Ministry of Health and Prevention – 80011111

Dubai Health Authority – 800342 – The number to book a free video or voice consultation with a doctor or connect to a local health centre

Emirates airline – 600555555

Etihad Airways – 600555666

Ambulance – 998

Knowledge and Human Development Authority – 8005432 ext. 4 for Covid-19 queries

Avengers: Endgame

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

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Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
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- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

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Price, base: Dh853,226

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8

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Three ways to get a gratitude glow

By committing to at least one of these daily, you can bring more gratitude into your life, says Ong.

  • During your morning skincare routine, name five things you are thankful for about yourself.
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PSA DUBAI WORLD SERIES FINALS LINE-UP

Men’s: 
Mohamed El Shorbagy (EGY)
Ali Farag (EGY)
Simon Rosner (GER)
Tarek Momen (EGY)
Miguel Angel Rodriguez (COL)
Gregory Gaultier (FRA)
Karim Abdel Gawad (EGY)
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Women's: 
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Raneem El Welily (EGY)
Nour El Tayeb (EGY)
Laura Massaro (ENG)
Joelle King (NZE)
Camille Serme (FRA)
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