The Grand Court has appointed provisional liquidators to Abraaj Holdings, a Middle Eastern private equity firm facing allegations that it has misused hundreds of millions of dollars, including funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.
Abraaj Holdings had been under pressure by other creditors, including Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security, which was aiming to have the company liquidated and wound up.
But the appointment of provisional liquidators will allow Abraaj Holdings to restructure its debt, protect the rights of all stakeholders, and continue its day-to-day operations with minimum impact, according to an announcement from Abraaj Holdings, which made the application to the Grand Court.
“The Order by the Court enables the Company to swiftly move into a stable phase of operations whereby restructuring plans and asset disposals can be executed upon in a protected and controlled environment,” stated PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Michael Jervis, who was appointed as the company’s provisional liquidator.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Capital Management has made a conditional US$50 million offer to buy private equity firm Abraaj’s investment management business, according to a Tuesday report from Reuters.
Abraaj Group reportedly received a US$125 million offer for its investment management business, but that was before it filed for provisional liquidation in Cayman last week.
The Abraaj Group made headlines in February, when the Wall Street Journal reported that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other investors hired a forensic accountant to look into possible misuse of money they had put into a $1 billion Abraaj healthcare fund.
The audit allegedly found that Abraaj did not spend all of the money as promised on hospitals in countries including India and Nigeria. Instead, the audit reportedly showed that Abraaj transferred some money out of the healthcare fund. The audit did not show what the money was specifically used for, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Abraaj has denied any wrongdoing.