Agility, one of the Arabian Gulf’s largest logistics firms, is mulling a possible investment in stricken Abraaj Group, the private equity group undergoing a provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands.
“Agility would like to clarify that it is, at all times, considering investment opportunities available, like an investment in Abraaj, that help the company to achieve its interests and the interests of its shareholders, and to accomplish its strategies,” the company said in a filing to Dubai Financial Market, where is its shares are listed.
“Agility further comments that there is no binding or definitive agreement in this respect."
The company, which is also listed in Kuwait, said it was responding to media reports this week that Agility has submitted a bid to acquire part of the Abraaj business.
Through its court-supervised restructuring, Abraaj is looking to sell part of its funds management business Abraaj Investment Management Limited (AIML), and last month reached a provisional agreement to sell some of the funds to US-based Colony Capital.
Agility is one of several potential buyers of funds under AIML, as investors circle the ailing private equity firm still reeling from allegations this year that it misused investors’ money in a $1 billion healthcare fund. Abraaj denies the allegations.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Agility has submitted a bid, citing a document it claims to have seen, and four sources familiar with the issue. Two of those sources, including one financial source, said Agility had bid $180 million to acquire certain fund interests and management rights for AIML.
Abraaj did not confirm or deny Agility's interest in its business.
“While we cannot comment on the details of individual bidders, we can advise that we have received a number of compelling offers for the fund management business and are reviewing these in conjunction with investors,” a statement from the joint provisional liquidators for Abraaj at Deloitte, said on Wednesday.
“Our focus remains to ensure the long-term stability of Abraaj Holdings and Abraaj Investment Management Limited and accordingly will evaluate the best option for the firm, its creditors, investors and stakeholders.”
Abraaj also confirmed media reports last week that Cerberus Capital Management had pulled its bid to manage Abraaj Group’s asset management business, Abraaj Investment Management. Cerberus withdrew its sale offer “in light of insufficient limited partner consents”, the JPL’s statement said.
Abraaj, once the Middle East’s biggest buyout firm with $13bn of assets under management, faced claims earlier this year from four investors in the Abraaj Growth Markets Healthcare Fund that it had misused their money.
Regulator the Dubai Financial Services Authority is investigating allegations of fund mismanagement at the firm, according to Reuters, and has interviewed Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi and other senior executives as part of the probe.