Private Equity Group Shuts Down London Office Amidst Cost-Cutting Efforts

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Abraaj, a private equity giant, is shutting down its office in  London as part of the cost-cutting measures prior to the sale of the company’s fund management unit. The headquarters of the firm is located in Dubai.

PwC, a liquidator, confirmed the closure of the Mayfair base of the company. It said that it is part of the normal money saving practices during the process of insolvency.

The beleaguered group has an additional 19 offices around the world. It filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands on the 18th of June and brought in some administrators from PwC in order to restructure the firm.

Liquidators are aiming to sell off the assets in order to raise money for the staff and creditors after the company collapsed after some complaints from its investors.

In August 2017, it was slammed by various complaints from investors, which included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that it had misused the money in a $1 billion healthcare fund. Abraaj has denied any wrongdoing.

Creditors hired some accountants to look into the fund. Last March, Abraaj halted its new investments and started downsizing and axing jobs.

The company was founded by Arif Naqvi, a businessman who is from Pakistan, in 2002. It became a specialist in emerging markets, peaking at around $14 billion of assets under management in 2017.

Last June, in his announcement regarding the restructuring of the company, Naqvi stated: “The process court-supervised restructuring will take a few months.

He added: “I will continue to support this orderly process and help ensure the best possible outcomes for all the stakeholders.”

He concluded: “The past four months have been humbling, exhausting and testing for us all but when I reflect on the past 16 years, I am proud of the positive impact that Abraaj has had on the markets and communities it serves.”