Abraaj said to delay hospital IPO as firm pursues CIRA disposal


LONDON • Abraaj Group, roiled by allegations of misused money, is delaying the initial public offering (IPO) or sale of its North African hospitals business while it seeks to resolve issues with investors, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Middle East’s largest buyout firm will delay the sale, which was originally planned for the first half, until October, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Separately, the company is now in advanced talks to dispose of its 35% holding in Egyptian school operator CIRA, some of the people said.

The Dubai-based firm plans to sell the school stake back to CIRA’s family shareholder, though no final decisions have been taken and a deal may not happen, the people said. A spokeswoman for Abraaj declined to comment, while CIRA officials weren’t immediately available to comment.

Abraaj is cutting jobs and halting fresh investments after allegations that it misused funds in a US$1 billion (RM3.89 billion) healthcare fund. It’s also returning capital to investors in a new global fund.

The company, which in February conducted an internal review and concluded that money in its health fund had been properly accounted for, is reorganising its structure — with founder Arif Naqvi ceding control of the fund management business.

Abraaj hired Citigroup Inc and EFG-Hermes Holding SAE to run the sale or IPO of its North African hospitals business, people familiar with the matter said in January.