19 June 2018

Carey Olsen acts for Abraaj Holdings in successful petition to appoint PwC as joint provisional liquidators

Offshore law firm Carey Olsen has successfully applied to have PwC appointed as joint provisional liquidators over Abraaj Holdings, the largest private equity investment group in the Middle East, amid opposition from certain creditors.

Abraaj Holdings filed an application in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands seeking the appointment of Simon Conway, Michael Jervis and Mo Farzadi of PwC as joint provisional liquidators. The Grand Court granted the Order following a contested hearing on the 18th June. The Carey Olsen team was led by Nick Bullmore on the corporate side and Jan Golaszewski and Peter Sherwood on the insolvency side. Tom Smith QC of South Square Chambers was instructed to appear at the hearing.

The move has been made to protect the rights of the company's stakeholders until a consensual restructuring of its debt obligations and the intended sale of its investment management business can be formulated and approved.

Jan Golaszewski, head of Carey Olsen's litigation and insolvency team in the Cayman Islands, said: "With the overlap between the transactional and contentious aspects, this is a complicated and very fast moving case, involving the coordination of lawyers and advisers across several disciplines and multiple time zones.

"A Court supervised restructuring programme is a positive outcome for our client. It gives Abraaj Holdings a sound structure to continue to look after the best interests of its stakeholders and creditors."

The instruction is a further high profile case for the leading offshore law firm that has been involved in a significant number of the major formal insolvency proceedings in the Cayman Islands in recent years. This includes acting for:  PwC as the official liquidators of Ardon Maroon Asia Dragon Feeder Fund, KPMG as the provisional liquidators of Greens Holdings Limited, Deloitte as the controllers of Beechwood Re, Ernst & Young as the voluntary liquidators of 47 Degrees North Capital Management Ltd and Grant Thornton as the official liquidators of Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Limited.

Carey Olsen has one of the largest dispute resolution and insolvency practices in the offshore legal field, led by 18 partners across nine international offices.