February 11, 2019 / 10:38 AM / 6 days ago

Franklin Templeton, Actera eyeing Abraaj's Turkey funds: sources

DUBAI/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - U.S. fund manager Franklin Templeton and Turkish private equity firm Actera are among the bidders in talks to take control of Abraaj’s Turkish assets after negotiations with other buyers faltered, two sources familiar with the deal said.

Dubai-based Abraaj was the largest buyout fund in the Middle East and North Africa until it collapsed last year in the aftermath of a row with investors, including the Gates Foundation, over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund.

Other potential bidders for the Turkish assets such as Turkish private equity company Turkven are out of the race, the sources told Reuters.

Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, which was seen as the frontrunner for the Abraaj’s Turkish assets, has also pulled out, the Wall Street Journal reported last month. .

Brookfield declined to comment.

The Turkish assets include the $526 million Turkey Fund 1, which was raised in 2016.

At that time Abraaj said it had deployed $900 million across 11 investments in Turkey over a decade.

Franklin Templeton, which manages over $683 billion, did not offer any comment. Actera, which manages $3.3 billion, and Turkven did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Abraaj’s liquidators did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

U.S. investment group Colony Capital Inc (CLNY.N) has agreed to buy Abraaj’s private equity business in Latin America, while TPG has taken control of its $1 billion healthcare fund. These are the only two of Abraaj’s funds known to have found new managers.

Actis is the front-runner for the $1 billion Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV, but it still needs to convince investors in the fund to vote for the deal, a source said last month.

Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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