NAIROBI, KENYA, OCTOBER 10 — Multi -asset emerging market investor-Actis is the front runner in the takeover of Abraaj’s Africa funds in the latest market developments, as the private equity firm seeks to shed-off part of its business to pay-off debt.
According to market reports, Actis has been identified as the preferred bidder for the management rights of Abraaj’s Africa funds.
This comes as liquidators begin breaking up the once Middle East’s largest private equity firm’s operations.
It comes barely four months after a group of Abraaj deal makers expressed their intention to sell-off the firm’s US$375 million North Africa fund.
The private equity firm that has been managing roughly US$14 billion has been keen to sell the fund management business to off-set a US$1.0 billion debt and put back some money borrowed from one of its funds.
Media reports have also indicated that Abraaj’s other operations, Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management is in the frame to take over its Turkey fund, while United States-based Colony Capital taking control of its Latin America fund.
Actis is a leading investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America currently managing US$6.7 billion in assets.
Abraaj was a $13.6 billion emerging market specialist with more than 200 investments up to last year when some investors questioned its use of money in a healthcare fund.
This triggered a crisis at Abraaj leading to its imminent liquidation.
The fate of some of Abraaj’s other businesses is said to remain uncertain, with talks still underway for another fund, Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV, while others have received no bids.
“The time available to conclude the sale process is limited, with the several million dollars raised in July from limited partners in the funds by the joint provisional liquidators only enough to run Abraaj’s operations for a few more months,” Reuters recently reported.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is said to be working as provisional liquidator for Abraaj Holdings and Deloitte for Abraaj’s investment management business.
Founded in 2004, Actis has to-date raised $13 billion.