Abraaj, Dubai, Bill Gates and $14 Billion Dollars

Abraaj, Dubai, Bill Gates and $14 Billion Dollars

Founded in 2002 by Arif Naqvi, Abraaj has around $14 billion under management, with the majority invested in projects in Asia and Africa. Healthcare has been an increasing part of their portfolio, including a network of private hospitals in Hyderabad, India and the Islamabad Diagnostic Centre. In 2016, they allocated $545 million to acquire hospitals in Nigeria, Pakistan and India.

The Abraaj Group earlier this  year rejected claims by investors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that it has misused $200 million allocated to a healthcare fund.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) unit, CDC Group PLC and Proparco Group had hired forensic accountants Ankura to look into why their combined $200m investment in the $1bn Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund (AGHF) had remained unspent – and why, as per the contract, it hadn’t been returned to them.

It was further claimed that Dubai-based Abraaj, one of the most influential venture capital vehicles in the developing world, had been using funds meant for the purchase of hospitals in Pakistan, India and Nigeria for operational expenses.

It Gets Worse

Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi faces a criminal complaint in the UAE for issuing a cheque without sufficient funds, in the latest blow to the embattled private equity firm, according to a report in the Financial Times.

On Thursday, a Sharjah court is slated to determine whether Naqvi and a colleague, Muhammed Rafique Lakhani, issued the cheque without enough funds in the account.

Quoting a prosecution clerk, the Financial Times is reporting that the value of the claim is AED 177 million ($48.2 million). Citing an anonymous source familiar with the case, the newspaper said the bounced cheque was used as partial security for approximately $300 million in loans made by Abraaj to Hamid Jafar, the founder of the Sharjah-based Crescent Group.


Simon Conway of PwC Corporate Finance & Recovery (Cayman) Limited, Cayman Islands, Mohammed Farzadi of PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited, (Dubai branch) and Michael Jervis of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, UK were appointed as Joint Provisional Liquidators of Abraaj Holdings by order of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands on 18 June 2018. The Joint Provisional Liquidators act as agents of Abraaj Holdings and without personal liability. For further information regarding the Provisional Liquidation of Abraaj Holdings, please visit the Joint Provisional Liquidators’ website, by clicking here, or otherwise contact the their office at [email protected]

Pursuant to an Order of the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands made on 18 June 2018, Stuart Sybersma and David Soden of Deloitte have been appointed as Joint Provisional Liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Limited. For any enquiries regarding the Provisional Liquidation of Abraaj Investment Management Limited, please contact the Joint Provisional Liquidators by email at [email protected]

The following two tabs change content below.
S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

Latest posts by S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D (see all)