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Kingdom eyes IPO at 11 riyals

Riyadh, June 18, 2007

Kingdom Holding will price its initial public offering at between 10.50 and 11 riyals per share, sources familiar with the matter said.

That would value the company, with holdings in Time Warner and Apple Computer, at up to $18.48 billion.

Kingdom will sell 315 million existing shares, or a 5 per cent stake, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) said earlier, giving the company permission to begin book building.

Kingdom will propose a price of between 10.5 riyals and 11.0 riyals per share, four sources familiar with the transaction said, meaning the IPO could raise as much as 3.46 billion riyals.

Only Saudis will be allowed to buy shares in Kingdom, which had $24 billion in assets at the end of 2006.

Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding will sell a 5 percent stake in an initial public offering this year, the stock market regulator said.

Only Saudis will be allowed to buy shares in Kingdom, which had $24 billion in assets at the end of 2006, including holdings in Time Warner, Apple Computer, Motorola and News Corporation.

Kingdom will offer 315 million existing shares, the Capital Market Authority said, giving the company permission to start book building. It did not say when the IPO would start.

Prince Alwaleed, who holds around 95 per cent of Kingdom's shares, told Middle East Economic Digest last month the IPO would open before the end of the second quarter.

Prince Alwaleed is the world's 13th richest person, according to Forbes magazine, and Citigroup’s largest individual shareholder.

At 63 billion riyals ($16.80 billion) Kingdom's paid-up capital is more than 2.5 times that of Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the largest company on the Saudi stock market.

The biggest ever GCC IPO was in 2003 when the Saudi government sold a stake in Saudi Telecom for $2.72 billion. Saudi Telecom is now Saudi Arabia's second-largest firm by market value.

Kingdom said this month it had made an average return on investments of 20 percent over the last 16 years, outperforming both the MSCI and the Standard & Poor's global indices by more than 10 per cent.

Kingdom has appointed Samba Financial Group and Citigroup as financial advisers for the IPO. Reuters




Tags: Saudi Arabia | sabic | Kingdom Holding | Apple | Time Warner | CMA | Capital Market Authority |

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