Kuwait Requests Dubai Release Half-Billion Dollars in Private Equity Funds Frozen for Over a Year in a Long-Running Dispute

The State of Kuwait has formally requested that Dubai unfreeze and return the money to The Port Fund, a private equity fund, which will then distribute the money to its investors and other international and U.S. stakeholders.  After selling its last investment in November 2017, The Port Fund wired $496 million to the bank account of its general partner, Port Link GP Ltd., at Noor Bank in Dubai, at which point the money was frozen without cause. 

In a letter dated December 30, 2018, Kuwait Attorney General Dherar Al-Asousi wrote to Dubai Attorney General Essam Issa Al Humaidan requesting ‘to remove the hold [on the funds] … and enable the account holder company to transfer and distribute the mentioned amount [$496 million].’ 

Dubai cleared the funds of any legal concerns months ago, leaving Kuwait – the largest investor in The Port Fund – as the only government that had not yet approved the release of the funds.  Now that Kuwait has lifted its hold, The Port Fund anticipates the immediate transfer of the money to its account at Noor Bank. 

‘We are pleased that both Kuwait and Dubai have recognized the lawful nature of our successful management of The Port Fund,’ said Mark Williams, investment director of the fund. ‘We are eager to distribute these funds to our investors and have already provided Noor Bank with wiring instructions to ensure there is no delay in these payments. We thank our investors and stakeholders for their patience and trust in our management team as we bring this matter to a successful conclusion.’ 

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Port Fund today announced that Kuwait has joined its year-long effort to recoup $496 million of investor funds that have been held in Dubai.