March 14, 2019 / 1:53 PM / 6 months ago

Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala halts business with Goldman Sachs amid 1MDB lawsuit

DUBAI/ABU DHABI, March 14 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala has suspended any new business dealings with Goldman Sachs since its subsidiary filed a lawsuit in November against the U.S. bank and others to recover losses suffered through its dealings with Malaysian state fund 1MDB.

“We have suspended any activities with Goldman Sachs pending outcome of the litigation,” Brian Lott, spokesman of Mubadala Investment Co, said in response to questions from Reuters.

“The only exceptions are engagements signed prior to the litigation, which will continue as per contractual terms,” he said.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Mubadala, which manages over $225 billion in assets, holds stakes in some of Abu Dhabi’s biggest companies as well as stakes in global firms such as Spanish energy firm Cepsa and Vienna-based OMV.

Over the last few years, New York-based Goldman has ranked among the top banks for takeover advice in Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The investment bank was hired by the Abu Dhabi government to advise a steering committee that oversaw a merger between Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate in 2013. The bank also worked on a merger valuation plan for the Abu Dhabi and Dubai bourses, in 2014, which was shelved as terms could not be agreed.

International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), which merged with Mubadala in 2017, filed a civil legal action in New York in November against Goldman and others, alleging they “played a central role in a long-running effort to corrupt former executives of IPIC and its subsidiary Aabar Investments, and mislead IPIC and Aabar”, aiming to further the business of Goldman and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Goldman has said that it will contest the claim ‘vigorously’.

Malaysia’s 1MDB is the subject of corruption and money-laundering investigations in at least six countries.

An estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates between 2009 and 2014, the U.S. Justice Department has alleged.

Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar and Davide Barbuscia Editing by Susan Fenton

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