The Abraaj Group

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The Abraaj Group
IndustryFinancial Services
Founded2002 (2002)
FounderArif Naqvi
HeadquartersDubai, United Arab Emirates
ProductsInvestments, private equity funds
Total assetsc. US$13.6 billion
Number of employees

The Abraaj Group was a private equity firm operating in six continents.[1] The firm was founded by Pakistani businessman Arif Naqvi and was based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


The Abraaj Group was founded in 2002 by Pakistani businessman Arif Naqvi with US$3 million in capital.[2]

In April 2015, the firm closed a US$990 million Sub-Saharan Africa fund, its third in the region according to the company.[3] Combined with US$375 million raised in August 2015 for a fund that will focus on North Africa,[4] the two funds give Abraaj just under US$1.4 billion to invest in Africa, a record sum raised in a single year.[5]

In July 2016, the firm announced that it raised US$526 million for investments in Turkey through Abraaj Turkey Fund I.[6] Abraaj also launched its US$1 billion Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund (AGHF) to build affordable and accessible health eco-systems for middle and low-income communities in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.[7]

In 2018 the firm was hit by turmoil,[8] as it was revealed that several limited partners including the Gates Foundation were investigating its misuse of investor funds and appointed an auditor to trace the money[9]. This led to the departure of the CFO[10] as well as the CEO to handover his role at the fund business[11]. [12]

Abraaj was hit by a $188 million loss for the nine months until the end of March with Abraaj’s debts standing at $1.1bn, including $501.4 million to unsecured creditors and $572.4 million to secured creditors.[13]

Business Segments[edit]

The Abraaj Group invests in private equity, private credit, impact investing and real estate.[14]

Private Equity[edit]

The Abraaj Group is an investor in global growth markets and has made more than 200 investments across a range of sectors. These businesses currently include:

  • Acurio, a Peruvian restaurant group;[15]
  • Hepsiburada, the largest e-commerce player in Turkey;[16]
  • Java House Group, East Africa's largest casual dining chain;[17][18]
  • Netlog, largest integrated logistics firm in Turkey;[19]
  • Indorama Fertilizers, fertilizer manufacturer in Sub-Saharan Africa;[20]
  • VUS, an education leader in Vietnam;[21]
  • Big Basket, e-grocer in India;[22] and
  • ODM, Moroccan oncology and diagnostic services healthcare platform[23]

Private Credit[edit]

Abraaj is building a portfolio of private credit investments, diversified across sector and geography in emerging markets. According to the company, it seeks to invest primarily in mezzanine debt, but may also invest in senior debt.[24]

Impact Investing[edit]

Abraaj's impact investing line of business includes healthcare and clean energy.

Abraaj's US$1 billion Fund brings together healthcare technology companies, foundations, development financing institutions and institutional investors, to address and impact poor healthcare outcomes in Africa and Asia.[25] Its healthcare investments include Care Hospitals in India[26] and Islamabad Diagnostic Centre in Pakistan.[27]In September 2017, the firm announced a partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Kenya to provide education, primary care interventions and more complex treatment for NCDs, communicable diseases and mother/child healthcare.[28]

As of September 2017, the firm has invested over US$1 billion in energy, including a partnership with ENGIE to develop a wind power platform in India.[29] In January 2017, Abraaj acquired a majority stake in Jhimpir Power, to construct a 50 MW wind project in the Jhimpir wind corridor in Southeast Pakistan.[30] In 2015, the firm announced a partnership with Aditya Birla Group to build a 1GW scale solar energy platform in India.[31]

Real Estate[edit]

Abraaj’s Real Estate Investment Team has invested in a range of real estate asset classes, focusing on attractive returns derived from underlying growth fundamentals such as urbanization and increased consumer spending.[32]


Abraaj's energy team left the company following the turmoil in 2018 to join a US investment firm.[33]

Sustainability Initiatives[edit]

In 2012, The Abraaj Group became a signatory to the UN Global Compact and that same year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed CEO Arif Naqvi to the Board of the Global Compact.[34]

Since its founding in 2002, environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations have been a part of Abraaj’s investment process. Its consideration of ESG issues in each investment adds value locally by ensuring that each company brings high standards of sustainable business practice to its communities.[35]

In 2014, Abraaj established the Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholarship at the Royal College of Art in London. It is the largest scholarship of its kind for postgraduate studies in the creative sector. [36] The Abraaj Group Art Prize, the group's flagship arts patronage program, aims at empowering potential and gives often under-represented contemporary artists the resources to further develop their talent.[37] The prize will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018.

In 2015, Abraaj established the Abraaj Growth Markets Grant to support projects aimed at resolving socio-economic challenges in growth markets. Nine projects were selected ranging from developing myoelectric prosthetic limbs in Kolkata to tracking crime patterns for a safer culture in Puebla.[38]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Nair, Dinesh; Martin, Matthew; Alloway, Tracy (29 July 2018). "Behind the Spectacular Collapse of a Private Equity Titan". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  3. ^ Saleem, Nadia (13 April 2015). "Private equity house Abraaj closes $990 mln sub-Saharan Africa fund". Reuters. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. ^ Martin, Matthew (24 August 2015). "Abraaj Group Raises $375 Million for North Africa Investments". Retrieved 31 October 2016 – via
  5. ^ Cotterill, Joseph (24 August 2015). "Africa private equity group raises $1.4bn to invest in continent". Financial Times.
  6. ^ "The Abraaj Group: Press Release: The Abraaj Group Raises US$ 526 million for Investment in Turkey". Retrieved 2016-09-12.
  7. ^ Jr, Landon Thomas (2016-10-08). "An Investor's Plan to Transplant Private Health Care in Africa". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  8. ^ "Private equity firm Abraaj Capital is in turmoil". Axios. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  9. ^ Louch, William; Ballard, Ed; Clark, Simon (2018-02-02). "Abraaj Investors Hire Auditor to Trace Money". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  10. ^ Anthony Karam, Mark. "Abraaj court case verdict on July 15: Amicable parting, or legal battle?". AMEinfo. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  11. ^ Anthony Karam, Mark. "Abraaj court case verdict on July 15: Amicable parting, or legal battle?". AMEinfo. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  12. ^ Parasie, Nicolas; Louch, William; Clark, Simon (2018-03-26). "Abraaj Seeks Buyer for Private-Equity Business". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  13. ^ Khatib, Hadi. "Who's owed what and 7 things you need to know about Abraaj". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  14. ^ "Abraaj Investment Management ... vs Mr. Neville Tuli on 14 July, 2015". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  15. ^ "The Abraaj Group: Press Release: Aureos Invests in Leading Peruvian Restaurant Group". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  16. ^ Cotterill, Joseph (22 February 2015). "Abraaj takes $100m stake in Hepsiburada".
  17. ^ Stevis, Matina (2017-07-03). "Abraaj Acquires Kenya-Based Java House Group". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  18. ^ "Abraaj Group to buy African coffee chain Java House". Financial Times.
  19. ^ "Turkey's robust growth tempts private equity firms". Financial Times.
  20. ^ "The Abraaj Group Backs Nigeria-based Indorama Fertilizers (Sub-Saharan Africa) - EMPEA". EMPEA. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  21. ^ "Vietnam-USA Society English International (VUS) - The Abraaj Group". The Abraaj Group. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  22. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "BigBasket raises $150 million in funding led by Abraaj Group". IN. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  23. ^ "Abraaj acquires majoriy stakes in two Morocco oncology clinics". The National. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  24. ^ "Abraaj fuels growth markets with credit – ImpactAlpha". ImpactAlpha. 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  25. ^ "Better Business, Better World – BSDC". Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  26. ^ "Dubai's Abraaj Group to buy majority stake in India's Care Hospitals". Reuters.
  27. ^ "Abraaj taps into Pakistan". The National. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  28. ^ "The Abraaj Group and IFRC Sign MoU" (PDF). The Abraaj Group.
  29. ^ Shah, Sneha (2017-09-20). "Abraaj Group has joined hands with ENGIE to set up a wind energy platform in India". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  30. ^ "The Abraaj Group to Acquire Majority Stake in Jhimpir Power (Asia) - EMPEA". EMPEA. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  31. ^ Sengupta, Debjoy (2015-10-07). "Aditya Birla partners Dubai's Abraaj Group for solar plants". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  32. ^ "The Abraaj Group: Real Estate". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  33. ^ Louch, William (2018-03-01). "Abraaj Energy Team Departs, Joins U.S. Investment Firm". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  34. ^ "Board Members - UN Global Compact". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  35. ^ "Investing In Africa: The Abraaj Story - Ventures Africa". 12 May 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  36. ^ "The Abraaj RCA Innovation Scholarship". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  37. ^ "Nafas Art Magazine". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  38. ^ "The Abraaj Group: The Abraaj Group announces winners of 'Abraaj Growth Markets' Grant". Retrieved 2016-09-12.

External links[edit]