DUBAI- U.S. private equity firm TPG is in talks with investors in Abraaj's healthcare fund to take over management of the assets of the $1 billion fund, which is embroiled in a scandal over alleged misuse of investor money, two sources familiar with the matter said.
These talks are separate from an ongoing sale process for Abraaj Investment Management Ltd (AIML), which has attracted bidders including Colony Northstar.
The talks come after Abraaj indicated it may step down as the manager of the fund following a dispute over how the Dubai-based private equity firm used the money of some of its investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and International Finance Corp (IFC), a member of World Bank Group.
Abraaj, which is facing an investigation launched by the investors including the Gates Foundation and IFC, has denied any wrongdoing.
The Wall Street Journal reported talks between TPG and Abraaj investors, reporting that TPG's The Rise Fund would likely manage these assets, which include hospitals and healthcare units in developing countries.
The $2 billion The Rise Fund, which counts Irish rock star Bono among its co-founders, focuses on impact investing — a term coined in 2007 — which grew out of the desire by socially conscious individuals to extend philanthropy to their financial holdings.
TPG, IFC and the Gates Foundation declined to comment.
Abraaj declined to comment on the talks between TPG and investors. But in an email to Reuters it said "we continue to work closely with our investors and are committed to ensure that a positive resolution is achieved for all parties".
Abraaj, founded by Arif Naqvi in 2002, has shaken up its management, suspended new investments, freed up large investors from millions of dollars in capital commitments and is reviewing its corporate structure.
Naqvi remains CEO of Abraaj Holdings, which owns the investment management unit.
(Reporting by Saeed Azhar in Dubai and Joshua Franklin in New York; editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Jason Neely) ((Saeed.Azhar@thomsonreuters.com; +971 44536787; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))