Aramex says not exposed to troubled Abraaj Group

Logistics firm Aramex has revealed it has not been, in any way, exposed to recent developments surrounding Dubai-based buyout group Abraaj Group, which has been accused of misuse of investor funds.

In a statement, Aramex said it has no ties to the investment group.

“Based on our knowledge and current information, Aramex is not tied to Abraaj Group in any way, nor do we have any investments in the company or any of its projects or funds. Aramex will not be exposed to Abraaj as a result, and in light, of the company’s recent developments,” the statement read.

Founded by Arif Naqvi in 2002, Abraaj Group had nearly $14 billion of assets under management before the allegations led it to undergo a court-supervised restructuring in June in the Cayman Islands, where it registered. So far, the company has denied any wrongdoing.

Abraaj Capital in 2002 bought a substantial stake in Aramex through its Cayman registered structured buyout fund, after which Aramex – then listed on Nasdaq as the first Arab company to trade its shares on a US stock exchange – was delisted.

Abraaj claims to have augmented Aramex’s financial position through “several strategic initiatives including optimising operational efficiencies, developing specialised products and capabilities, and developing global partnerships and alliances,” a statement in the firm’s website reads.

The value creation plan eventually led to a $270 million initial public offering (IPO) on the Dubai Financial Market.

Aramex was initially set up in 1982 as a privately held express operator that served US-based delivery companies including Federal Express.

Exposure revealed

A number of companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange on Tuesday revealed their exposure to troubled Dubai-based buyout group Abraaj. Six companies including banking giant First Abu Dhabi Bank, the merged entity of First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi, said it has direct exposure to Abraaj through a fully secured three-year loan of $21.4 million.

United Arab Bank, Al Qudra Holding and Waha Capital said they had indirect exposure while Al Buhaira National Insurance Company said it has AED8.4 million worth of exposure and Emirates Insurance said it has $2.45 million exposure.

In a series of posts on the website of the Abu Dhabi bourse, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Invest Bank, RAK Properties, RAKBank, RAK Ceramics and Julphar Gulf announced they have no exposure to Abraaj, which has filed for provisional liquidation.

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