The Real Deal New York

Abraaj tries to sell private equity business as Gates-led investigation continues

Talks with at least one group fell through
April 29, 2018 09:00AM

From left: Bill and Melinda Gates, Abraaj Group founder and CEO Arif M. Naqvi. (Credit from left: Kjetil Ree, Max Pixel, World Economic Forum)

The embattled Abraaj Group is trying to sell off its investment business and have approached at least two potential buyers without success so far.

The move comes while Abraaj is being investigated at the insistence of four investors who are questioning whether their money was misused in connection with a $1 billion healthcare fund. The concerned investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. Abraaj is now undergoing forensic audits by two different firms to trace their money.

According to Reuters, the Dubai-based group was in talks to buy sell part of its business to state-backed investor Mubadala, which is based in Abu Dhabi, however the discussions did not move forward. The Wall Street Journal reported Abraaj was also pursuing Abu Dhabi Financial Group in March.

Before the dispute with the famed investors, Abraaj had $13.6 billion under management. Following the investors’ launch of an investigation, the firm returned $3 billion to investors and put a $6 billion fund on hold, according to Reuters. [Reuters]Erin Hudson