Side Letter: Naqvi in court, healthy dealflow, Ruby writes

Wishing a Happy Easter to all, especially those lucky enough to enjoy a long weekend; we'll be back on Tuesday. For now, here’s today's brief, for our valued subscribers only.

Just happened

All eyes on Abraaj

Arif Naqvi, former chief exec of Abraaj (pictured), is set to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court today via video-link in connection with alleged fraud.

The deposition brought by the court of the Southern District of New York alleges, among other things, that Naqvi and managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood deprived investors of accurate information on the emerging market manager’s financial health, misappropriated investor funds for illicit purposes and inflated valuations and performance figures on some of its funds in order to increase its fee intake. To see the US SEC’s version of events, see this timeline.

PEI will be there, bringing you the latest as it comes in.

Healthcare’s mega-deals

Private equity deal activity for healthcare rose to its highest level since 2006 last year, according to data from Bain. Activity hit roughly $63 billion across 316 transactions with KKR’s mammoth $10 billion buyout of Envision Healthcare topping the chart. Megadeals in Europe pushed volume to a record $17.8 billion, driven by some eye-popping transactions led by CVC, PSP and Advent.

Firms are selling assets quicker too – hold periods fell to a nine-year low at 4.1 years. Bain reckons GPs will either take advantage of high demand for “relatively recession-resistant” assets and sell, or they’ll hold onto category-leading assets if they’re under no pressure to sell. Either way, healthcare is looking pretty healthy right now.


The PEn is mightier. What do you do when you’ve made billions in private equity and already have your own TV show? Write a book, of course! Carlyle founder David Rubenstein has done just that. The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians, due out in October, takes readers on a “sweeping journey” of American history through conversations with some of the country’s greatest historians. We look forward to the in-store book reading.

GPFG dips a toe in renewables. Norway’s colossal sovereign wealth fund is thinking about investing up to 2 percent of its assets in unlisted renewables – more than all the capital that’s been raised by renewables-dedicated unlisted funds since 2013. The proposal is still subject to parliamentary approval – no small feat. But, as Bruno Alves of sister title Infrastructure Investor asks, if GPFG wants to invest in renewables as part of a search for profitable investments, why stop there? The wider unlisted infra spectrum – or, dare we say it, private equity – have a lot to offer.

Dig deeper

Want more data? There are more than 6,700 institutions in our database, including Abraaj and GPFG.

We did the math

Perking up. Buyer sentiment in the secondaries market has brightened dramatically, according to Campbell Lutyens’ 2019 secondaries market overview: 57 percent of respondents described the market as inexpensive, compared with just 4 percent a year ago.

She said it

“What many ‘hold-out’ generalists may soon discover, given the movement towards specialisation, is that their narrative no longer resonates in an environment that’s only becoming more crowded and more demanding.”

Monument Group’s Janet Brooks writes for PEI about the long-delayed move to specialisation among GPs in Europe.

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Today’s letter was prepared by Isobel MarkhamAdam Le and Rod James.

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