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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

EGX-listed companies rush to declare “we have no ties to Abraaj”

EGX-listed companies rush to declare “we have no ties to Abraaj”: In a string of some 73 disclosures last week, companies rushed to meet an EGX requirement that they disclose any business or investment ties to embattled private equity firm Abraaj in the wake of the company’s collapse and liquidation, Youm7 reports. Yesterday saw six companies issuing disclosures declaring that they have no ties with Abraaj, Al Mal reports.

Meanwhile, the Abraaj saga continues as six firms are said to be bidding to run Abraaj’s USD 1 bn healthcare fund — the same fund which drew accusations of misuse of funds that led to the firm’s collapse. Colony Capital, TPG and Cerberus Capital Management were among the firms vying to manage the fund, sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters. “Deloitte, the provisional liquidators of Abraaj, and investors in its healthcare funds are weighing these inquiries, which could pave the way for the healthcare fund to separate from the rest of Abraaj,” they added.

Two notes of relevance here: First, Colony didn’t pick up the healthcare fund when it recently entered an agreement to acquire other key Abraaj funds. Second, Egypt’s Cleopatra Hospitals group is not controlled by the embattled healthcare fund, but rather a separate North Africa fund that will belong to Colony, provided the transaction goes through.)

And so the vultures circle: UAE-based education- and healthcare-focused private equity outfit Amanat Holdings is eyeing opportunities in Egypt, the GCC, and India as part of a plan to “capitalize on the collapse of Dubai-based Abraaj Group,” Managing Director Shamsheer Vayalil told Bloomberg in an interview. The company is “well poised to lead the healthcare and education space in the region and abroad in the incumbent era,” he said, adding that Amanat is looking for a “couple more” agreements in either sectors as it pursues regional expansion plans with Abraaj on the verge of collapse. You can check out Amanat’s corporate presentation here (pdf).

Background: Abraaj has agreed to sell key funds and its principal stakes in them to Colony Capital after a scandal on misuse of funds. “Most private equity [transactions] and fundraising in the region [came] to a halt” after the news was made public, Bloomberg notes. The company’s chairman, Sean Cleary, resigned last week.

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