It's been a drama-filled couple of years for Abraaj after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the IFC and other LPs first raised concerns about potential mismanagement of the Dubai-based investor's healthcare fund in late 2017. Abraaj, which at its peak had nearly $14 billion in AUM, began to crumble soon thereafter, ultimately filing for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands last June. Restructuring advisors have struggled in the ensuing months to sell parts of Abraaj's portfolio, with potential acquirers seemingly wary of possible legal issues and creditors.
That legal trouble escalated last month, when Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi was arrested in London on US wire and security fraud charges that allege he and other Abraaj execs took money from the healthcare fund for themselves. Former Abraaj executive Mustafa Abdel-Wadood was arrested around the same time in New York, and former managing partner Sev Vettivetpillai was arrested in the UK a week later.
Last week, Naqvi was granted bail for £15 million (about $20 million), but as of earlier this week, he reportedly hadn't posted the bond and remained in jail while attempting to avoid extradition to the US. Abdel-Wadood, meanwhile, posted a $10 million bail bond last month with the help of Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, per The Wall Street Journal. Both Naqvi and Abdel-Wadood have denied the charges against them.
As former Abraaj executives navigate the courts, the firm's drawn-out liquidation process has marched on. On the same day as the firm's deal with TPG, a report from the WSJ indicated that Abraaj has entered talks to sell its Turkish operations to asset manager Franklin Templeton, a potential deal that could give Franklin Templeton control of a $526 million fund and a related portfolio of assets. In recent months, British emerging markets investor Actis has circled a deal to take over Abraaj’s $1 billion healthcare fund. And in April, Colony Capital agreed to purchase Abraaj's Latin American business, renaming the unit Colony Latam Partners.
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