Connect with us

Business News

Actis takes over Nigerian-focused Abraaj Funds, after criminal charges and face-off with creditors

The management rights of Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV) and Abraaj Africa Fund III (AAF III) has been taken over by @ActisLLP, in a bid to steady the ships after months of investor confrontation and criminal charges against the firms senior executives.



Actis takeover Abraaj Funds, Abraaj liquidation, Abraaj Funds accusation of defrauding investors, About Abraaj, Actis makes major investment in Rack Centre

The management rights of Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV) and Abraaj Africa Fund III (AAF III) have been taken over by private equity firm, Actis, in a bid to steady the ships after months of confrontation from investors, and criminal charges filed against the senior executives of the firms.

The takeover was prompted by an invitation from the two Funds, leading to the British firm tendering a business strategy for approval from shareholders of Abraaj Private Equity Fund and Abraaj Africa Fund. Both Funds are global buyout funds and funds for investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Provisional liquidation had been filed by Abraaj in 2018 after a collapse, resulting from investors confrontation over the use of funds in a $1 billion healthcare fund. Several Abraaj’s senior executives have been hit with criminal charges initiated by United States prosecutors. They were accused of defrauding investors in a massive international scheme.

[READ ALSO: Andela explains startups’ preference for Venture Capitalists over banks]

The Investors that complained are:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
  • Auctus Fund; and
  • International Finance Corp (IFC).
 Actis takeover Abraaj Funds, Abraaj liquidation, Abraaj Funds accusation of defrauding investors, About Abraaj

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

GTBank 728 x 90

Provisional liquidation: This occurs when a company receives a winding-up petition (the most profound action a creditor can take against a company) from its creditor due to its inability to deliver its responsibilities.

When such is filed, the Directors or management of such firm is stripped of the control of the company, giving room for external control. It’s a business strategy applied by a company to secure its assets. This move is however made before a court hearing.

[READ MORE: Similarities and Differences between Private Equity and Venture Capital]

Deal book 300 x 250
Coronation ads

This is why Actis was invited and took control of the two Abraaj Funds to proffer business solutions that drive value for the Fund companies. According to a statement on Actis’ website, the transaction includes investments in 14 portfolio companies across the two Funds.

What this means for Actis: It strengthens Actis’ market position as the combined private equity team of the company is now 40. This includes the additional investment professionals in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos, Singapore, London and a new office in Dubai. Actis now has $12 billion under management and over 250 people across 16 offices.

 Actis takeover Abraaj Funds, Abraaj liquidation, Abraaj Funds accusation of defrauding investors, About Abraaj

Abraaj Group office

While commenting on the transaction which he led, Andrew Newington, Actis’ Chief Investment Officer, said, “When a number of investors asked us to step in to be part of a solution in mid-2018, we sought to respond constructively. A dedicated team from the Actis platform put forward a comprehensive and flexible proposal. We are pleased that investors have entrusted us with the stewardship of their portfolio and our focus is now on delivering on our plan to drive value on their behalf.”

Also speaking about the deal, a Senior Partner at Actis, Torbjorn Caesar, said, “We are pleased to have arrived at the best solution for investors and for our markets after a long, complex process. Going forward, we look forward to drawing on our 70-year heritage in Africa and across the growth markets, and fulfilling both our fiduciary duties to our new and existing investors and our responsibilities to the countries, cities and communities in which we operate.”

Jaiz bank ads

[READ FURTHER: O’Concept, the QSR reengineering snack-on-the-go to flip the market]

Stanbic IBTC

Before this latest deal, Actis had integrated Standard Chartered’s Principal Finance Real Estate business in Asia in 2018.

Ripple effect on Nigerian firms by Abraaj’s liquidation plan has not been ruled out. The company has some stakes in some listed Nigerian companies such as:

  • C & I Leasing Plc;
  • CWG Plc;
  • Custodian and Allied Insurance;
  • Eleme Fertilizers;
  • Mouka Foam Limited;
  • Bridge Clinic;
  • Therapia Health Limited; and
  • AOS Orwell Limited.

About Actis: The company has its footprint in Africa, Asia and Latin America since establishment in 2004.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hospitality & Travel

US imposes $15,000 visa bond on 15 African countries, others

The US has issued a visa rule requiring tourist and business travelers in some countries to pay a bond of up to $15,000 in addition to the visa fees.



Berger Paints' improved margins ride on the back of cost efficiency

The outgoing administration of US President, Donald Trump, on Monday, November 23, 2020, issued a new temporary visa rule that requires tourist and business travelers from 15 African countries and others to pay a bond of up to $15,000 in addition to the visa fees, which ranges from $16 to $300, in order to visit the United States.

According to TheCable, the US State Department said the visa bond pilot programme, expected to take effect from December 24 and end on June 24, 2021, is targeted at countries whose citizens have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travelers.

The Trump administration said the six-month pilot program aims to test the feasibility of collecting such bonds and will serve as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas. Hence, overstay places significant pressure on Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

The visa bond rule will permit U.S. consular officers to request tourist and business travelers from countries whose nationals had an overstay rate of 10% and above in 2019 to pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000.

The countries whose tourist and business travelers fall into this category and subjected to the bond requirements are 24 countries, including 15 African countries. While these nations had higher rates of overstays, they sent relatively fewer travelers to the United States.

GTBank 728 x 90

The countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen,

Nigerian travelers escaped paying the temporary visa rule, as their overall score was below the threshold of 10% and above overstaying rate.

Coronation ads
Continue Reading

Economy & Politics

Senate approves issuance of N148bn promissory notes to Bayelsa, 4 others

Promissory notes worth N148,141,969,161.24 has been approved by the Senate as refund to Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun and Rivers States



Senate approves issuance of promissory notes worth N148 billion as a refund to five states

Promissory notes worth N148.141billion have been approved by the Senate as a refund to Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun, and Rivers States for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

The approval which was given by the Senate at the plenary on Tuesday, 24th November 2020, came after the presentation of a report by the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, led by Senator Ordia Clifford (PDP-Edo).

According to a news report by NAN, this is a go-ahead to the Federal Government, who had sought the approval of the Senate for issuance of promissory notes for a refund on federal projects executed by State governments.

The request was contained in a letter addressed to President of Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan by President Muhammadu Buhari, and read at plenary. The Senate referred the matter to the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for further legislative input.

(READ MORE: FG inaugurates steering committee on Covid-19 economic recovery)

GTBank 728 x 90

Senator Ordia Clifford, while presenting the report of the committee, said the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Commissioners of Finance and Works in the five states, had briefed the committee on details of the projects.

He said the Committee was presented with documents relating to the approvals of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for the execution of the projects and certificates of completion, amongst other documents.

At the plenary today, Senator Ordia moved the motion that the Senate approves the Committee’s recommendations by approving the issuance of the promissory notes to the State governments.

Coronation ads

According to him, the amount due to the five states is N148.14billion.

  • Bayelsa was allotted N38.40billion
  • Cross River was allotted N18.39billion
  • Ondo was allotted N7.82billion
  • Osun was allotted N4.57billion
  • Rivers was allotted N78.95billion

What they are saying

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, disclosed that records showed PDP states had the highest refund, he said: “If you look at the list of states, only two are APC states and they have the least in terms of refund, this is fantastic and a mark of leadership by the Federal Government. This shows tolerance and leadership by this administration.”

Continue Reading

Business News

Interswitch Group becomes Finastra’s lead technology partner in Nigeria

nterswitch Group has unveiled a consolidated partnership with Finastra, one of the world’s most influential Fintechs.



Interswitch Group becomes Finastra’s Lead technology partner in Nigeria

In a bid to further develop its market and expand, Interswitch Group has unveiled a consolidated partnership with Finastra, one of the world’s most influential Fintechs.

This is according to a verified post by Interswitch Group on Linkedin, as seen by Nairametrics.

What this means

The strategic partnership enables Interswitch to become Finastra’s lead technology partner and will avail the latter the opportunity to bring the broadest set of financial software solutions to financial institutions in Nigeria and across Africa, in conjunction with Interswitch’s strong understanding of the local banking and payments landscape, as well as the ability to deploy solutions across these markets.

Some of Finastra’s financial software solutions that will be incorporated into Interswitch’s digital solution include: Fusion Kondor and Fusion Trade Innovation, which will consolidate Interswitch’s position as a hub for financial solutions, including treasury and trade solutions.

GTBank 728 x 90

(READ MORE: 5 Nigerian startups selected to join 7 others at the Africa Tech Summit Connects (ATS))

What they are saying

Commenting on the partnership, the Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, Mitchell Elegbe, was quoted by Tech economy saying:Our partnership with Finastra is consistent with our strategic growth plan and we both share the vision of deepening access to financial services by providing world-class technology and innovative solutions.

Coronation ads

“The partnership enables Finastra to seamlessly deploy its technology in this market. For Interswitch, we will be leveraging our proven success and expertise in delivering transaction banking solutions to support Finastra in localizing and implementing their technology in this region.’’

On the other hand, the Head of Partner Ecosystem MEA & CIS at Finastra, Hamid Nirouzad, said: “Interswitch has a proven track record of delivering solutions to commercial banks, as well as, a strong understanding of the local banking landscape across Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

“Finastra is committed to providing its solutions to financial institutions across the world, and partnerships such as this will result in successful projects, with rapid delivery at a reasonable cost.”

Continue Reading