Exclusive: Abraaj founder faces second bounced cheque case over $217m payment

News comes less than two weeks after founder Arif Naqvi reached an out of court settlement with Hamid Jafar over a $300m bounced cheque case
Exclusive: Abraaj founder faces second bounced cheque case over $217m payment
The 58-year-old founder surrendered control of Dubai-based Abraaj in June after investors in a $1 billion healthcare fund managed by the firm, including Bill and Melinda Gates, demanded an investigation be made into claims that money from the fund had been misused.
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 31 Jul 2018 09:18 AM

Sharjah-based Crescent Group founder Hamid Jafar has filed a $217 million (AED798m) bounced cheque case against troubled Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi, less than two weeks after both parties reached an out of court agreement for a $300 million bounced cheque case.

Naqvi’s lawyer, and chairman of law firm Baker McKenzie Dr Habib Al Mulla, said a court hearing has been scheduled for the criminal case on August 14.

After the initial case was settled, Al Mulla said it was “originally a commercial case” and should have been settled amicably from the beginning.

If the case had proceeded, Naqvi would have faced up to three years in prison for allegedly issuing three cheques without sufficient funds in the bank.

The 58-year-old founder surrendered control of Dubai-based Abraaj in June after investors in a $1 billion healthcare fund managed by the firm, including Bill and Melinda Gates, demanded an investigation be made into claims that money from the fund had been misused.

So far, Abraaj has denied any wrongdoing, while Naqvi remains outside the UAE after a public prosecutor had previously issued a warrant for his arrest.

He is believed to owe creditors over $1 billion, which he borrowed to cover the firm’s main operating costs.

Last week, Cerberus Capital Management pulled out of the bidding process for Abraaj Group’s asset-management platform after the $25 million offer was rejected by investors of the private equity firm.

The offer was the lowest among several bidders.

Abraaj Group is also currently being sued by one of the founders of a Turkish dairy maker that the firm is trying to sell. Yorsan Gida Mamulleri was purchased in 2014 and is an Istanbul-based producer of yogurt, cheese and milk.

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