June 25, 2018 / 10:59 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Co-CEOs of Abraaj investment management business resign from board

(Adds detail, background)

By Hadeel Al Sayegh and Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI/ISTANBUL, June 25 (Reuters) - The co-chief executives of Abraaj Investment Management Ltd (AIML) are stepping down from the board of the unit, days after the Dubai-based firm agreed to sell the bulk of the business to Colony Capital.

This is the latest shakeup at Abraaj, the Middle East and Africa’s largest private equity firm, which has been bruised by a dispute with some of its investors over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund.

The group has denied it misused the funds.

Last week a court in the Cayman Islands appointed provisional liquidators for Abraaj Holdings and Abraaj Investment Management Ltd (AIML) as the firm tries to restructure its debt.

Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu will no longer serve as directors of the board of AIML, the company said in a statement on Monday in response to questions from Reuters.

It added that move does not change their co-CEO titles, although it was not immediately clear what role will they will play in the future.

After the row became public in February, Abraaj’s founder, Arif Naqvi, handed the running of the fund to the two co-chief executives, split the group into two and put the investment management business up for sale.

Naqvi, who was CEO of The Abraaj Group when the dispute began, remains the single largest shareholder of Abraaj Holdings.

Last week Abraaj agreed to sell its Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, North Africa and Turkey Funds management business to U.S. investment management firm Colony Capital.

In the statement on Monday, Abraaj said Lodhi and Yorgancioglu “remain employees of the Group and are fully committed to supporting the Joint Provisional Liquidators in an orderly restructuring process and ensuring the sale” to Colony Capital.

AIML’s joint liquidators are from Deloitte and joint liquidators for the holding company are from PwC. (Additional reporting by Ebru Tuncay Editing by Saeed Azhar/Keith Weir)

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