What is VR Advisory? The hedge fund backing P&ID’s attempts to enforce a contested US$ 10 billion arbitration award against Nigeria

VR Advisory is part of the VR Capital Group, an alternative asset manager focused on distressed securities.

The ongoing dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) and P&ID has been a source of considerable public interest – particularly following Nigeria’s recent victory when the UK courts delivered an unprecedented judgment, granting the FRN permission to proceed with its challenge to the US$ 10 billion arbitral award.

Little is known, however, about P&ID’s financial backers.

While P&ID fronts the dispute, the company is entirely owned by a hedge fund, VR Advisory Limited, and a litigation funder, Lismore Capital.

Both funds acquired their stakes in the company after the arbitral award ruling. It is the FRN’s case that their interest is purely financial: the individuals who manage the funds are pursuing the $10 billion for themselves, at the expense of the Nigerian people.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is not alone in being victim to the dubious tactics of international funds.

VR Capital Group has a history of making money out of distressed debt, often in developing countries.

The firm is well known for their involvement in obtaining a $65 billion restructuring agreement with Argentina after the country defaulted on its sovereign debt. VR Capital Group was one of the hedge funds that purchased Argentinian bonds in default at low prices.

The company had also previously purchased distressed sovereign debt in Ukraine and Greece, making a profit as these nations were forced to restructure their debt to avoid default.

VR Capital Group is headed by multi-millionaire Richard Deitz. VR Capital Group and Mr Deitz are linked to the controversial collapse of the former Russian oil giant Yukos.

It is the FRN’s position that VR Advisory’s motivations in this dispute are clear: to profit off the Nigerian people.

The FRN is committed to fighting the injustice of the arbitral award and ensuring that this money goes towards the country’s future – not into the pockets of Western actors looking to profit from Africa’s vulnerabilities.