Kuwait investment firm sues private equity giant

Kuwaiti investment firm National Industries Group (NIG) has claimed that the Carlyle Group sold it a fixed income fund in 2006 without a proper licence, demonstrating the potholes that exist for US and European private equity firms in the area.

The Kuwaitis are also seeking approval for a lawsuit against Carlyle to be heard locally rather than in the US, reports Middle East Legal Business Online.
The group – owned by one of Kuwait’s biggest merchant families – invested $25 million in Carlyle Capital Corp (CCC), a fixed income fund created by the Americans in 2006. The fund -- which raised more than $1 billion -- collapsed during the economic crisis in 2008, defaulting with a debt of more than $16bn.

Securities licence

Carlyle has said that, as part of the contract with NIG, any disputes must be resolved in a US court. But NIG now contend that the investment contract was void as Carlyle did not have a securities licence to offer investment products in Kuwait.
 ‘Carlyle was more than happy to conduct its sales presentations in Kuwait and close its deals in Kuwait,’ Ahmed Hassan, general manager of NIG, said in the statement. ‘But now that the moment has come to deal with the ugly aftermath and the firm's attempts to mislead and deceive its own investors, Carlyle would prefer to try its luck in Delaware.’

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