A Sharjah court has adjourned until July 11 a case involving the founder of private equity firm Abraaj, Arif Naqvi, and another executive for issuing a dud cheque, a lawyer involved in the case said on Thursday.
The case relates to a cheque for Dh177.1 million, signed by Naqvi and a fellow executive, and written to Hamid Jafar, another founding shareholder in Dubai-based Abraaj, according to a prosecution document.
Khalid Al Bannay from Al Tamimi & Co, the law firm representing Jafar, said the court has adjourned the case until July 11. Naqvi’s lawyer said that the adjournment was an opportunity for both sides to reach an understanding.
“The adjournment has given an opportunity to reach a deal,” Habib Al Mulla, the lawyer representing Naqvi, said.
Al Mulla said the parties are close to an out-of-court settlement in the case.
“Parties have reached an understanding last night. Now, they will put it in a document. A provisional agreement has been reached ... over the main issues to repay the loan,” he added.
However, Al Bannay said: “Until now, there is no agreement and to have one, we need at least an initiative from the defendants.”
The court case in Sharjah is another challenge for the founder of Abraaj, which is battling allegations that it misused investor money in a healthcare fund. The firm has denied these allegations.
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Naqvi, 57, is currently outside the UAE after the public prosecutor issued a warrant for his arrest. The bounced cheques case is one of several woes facing Naqvi’s group.
Founded in 2002 by Naqvi, Abraaj had nearly $14 billion of assets under management before being granted a court-supervised restructuring last month in the Cayman Islands, where it is registered, following allegations of the misuse of funds.
The Cayman Islands court appointed liquidators to oversee an “orderly restructuring” of the group.
Four key investors in a $1-billion healthcare fund managed by Abraaj, including Bill and Melinda Gates and a World Bank affiliate, have demanded an inquiry into allegations that money from the fund had been misused.
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