Abraaj investors are said to prefer US$1 Actis bid

By BLOOMBERG

LONDON • Actis’ US$1 (RM4.10) bid for the Middle East and North Africa private-equity (PE) operations of Abraaj Group is favoured by investors in the funds, despite higher offers linked to Persian Gulf-based firms, according to people familiar with the matter.

Investors in the Abraaj funds would prefer to see the assets sold to an international PE firm as part of a liquidation of the company, the people said. The bid by London-based Actis is ranked ahead of offers from Abu Dhabi Financial Group and Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility, which is making a joint bid with Centerbridge Partners, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Actis’ expertise in running emerging-market (EM) funds appeals to the investors in Abraaj’s funds, who are more interested in a credible operational partner than receiving more money, the people said.

Separately, Brookfield Asset Management Inc is expected to acquire Abraaj’s Turkey PE funds and Colony Capital Inc is the favourite to buy Abraaj’s Latin America funds, the people said. Final bids for Abraaj’s assets were made on Sept 14, the people said.

Representatives for Brookfield, Actis and Colony declined to comment.

Once one of the most influential EM investors, Abraaj was accused of misusing investor funds, and liquidators are now selling assets to repay creditors owed more than US$1 billion.