|By Arabian Post Staff| Dubai-based leading private-equity firm Abraaj is raising an investment fund this year that will have a global focus as the company seeks opportunities in defensive industries such as health care and education, chief executive Arif Naqvi said in an interview at Davos.
The firm has “a group of investors who have been supportive of us all the way through the last few years,” he said.
Naqvi said Abraaj was also interested in buying a stake in Barclays South African business. “It’s a very fine bank run by a very fine management team, and if the opportunity were to re-present itself, we would certainly be one of those that would be at the table,” Bloomberg quotes Naqvi as saying.. The two companies, however, aren’t currently in talks, he said.
According to Bloomberg. Naqvi’s comments may signal renewed interest in bidding for a chunk of Barclays’ remaining 50.1 percent stake in the unit after the London-based bank said last March that it plans to sell down its 62 percent holding over two to three years. Abraaj and a group of investors had previously planned to bid for a minority stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd., people with knowledge of the discussions said last year, though those talks later faltered.
Bloomberg cited other investor groups also expressing interest in building a stake in the business. Public Investment Corp., the South African administrator of the bulk of the government’s pension-fund money, was looking to form a group made up of black shareholders to buy a stake, while ex-Barclays CEO Bob Diamond had also publicly expressed interest. (With Bloomberg)