Court appoints PwC, Deloitte as joint liquidators for Abraaj

DUBAI/LAHORE: Dubai-based Abraaj Holdings said on Tuesday a court in the Cayman Islands has ordered to appoint PwC as provisional liquidators of Abraaj Holdings and Deloitte as provisional liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Ltd.

Abraaj, the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm, had filed a petition in the Cayman Islands last week, asking the court to appoint provisional liquidators for the embattled company.

Abraaj Holdings in a statement released on Tuesday announced that the court, in a session on Monday, June 18, 2018, made an order appointing Simon Conway of PwC Corporate Finance and Recovery (Cayman) Limited and Michael Jervis and Mohammed Farzadi of PricewaterhouseCoopers, as joint provisional liquidators (“JPLs”) of Abraaj Holdings.

Subject to the final sealed order of the Cayman Court, this ensures that the rights of all stakeholders can be protected while Abraaj and the JPLs promote a consensual restructuring of the Abraaj’s obligations.

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In parallel, the court also heard an application by Abraaj Investment Management Limited (“AIML”) to appoint David Soden and Stuart Sybersma of Deloitte as JPLs of the fund management business. This application was also approved by the court. The decisions made by the court now enable AH and AIML to independently pursue court-supervised restructuring plans in an orderly fashion and for the benefit of their respective creditors. The court-supervised restructuring of AH will have minimum impact on the day-to-day operations of the management of the funds and their portfolio companies.

The statement read, “Pursuant to the order, the JPLs for Abraaj Holdings are authorised to take all necessary steps with a view to developing and proposing, in consultation with the company and its advisors, a restructuring of the company’s obligations. The order grants extensive powers to the JPLs for the protection and management of the company’s assets, including maintaining oversight of board and management activities to maximise the returns to the stakeholders of the company. The company’s secured creditors have provided their full support for the JPLs to work alongside the company to formulate and implement a restructuring of the company’s liabilities which is in the best interest of all the creditors.”

It further added, “Michael Jervis, Partner at PwC and one of the Joint Provisional Liquidators appointed in respect of Abraaj Holdings, said of the appointment, “Our role as Joint Provisional Liquidators is to manage the restructuring of Abraaj Holdings in an orderly fashion, safeguard the assets of the company, and ensure that the interests of creditors, employees and broader stakeholders are fully served. The order by the court enables the company to swiftly move into a stable phase of operations whereby restructuring plans and asset disposals can be executed in a protected and controlled environment. Given our longstanding experience in global restructuring for financial and corporate institutions, PwC is extremely well placed to deliver a satisfactory outcome for the company’s constituents and is commencing on this process with immediate effect”.

The Abraaj Group Founder Arif Naqvi added, “We are pleased with this outcome and grateful to the court for its careful consideration of the issues and positive judgment. This order validates the position consistently maintained by Abraaj that an orderly restructuring, under the guidance of a highly experienced team of Joint Provisional Liquidators, can ensure the outcomes we seek for the company and its creditors. We are wholly committed to supporting the JPLs through this process and ensuring stability and value maximization for all parties”.

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