Saudi billionaire family looks to hire IPO adviser: sources

Olayan family runs one of the kingdom’s biggest conglomerates
By Bloomberg
Tue 02 May 2017 09:34 AM

Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Olayan family, which runs one of the nation’s biggest conglomerates, hired Saudi Fransi Capital as financial adviser for the planned share sale of some of its local assets, according to people familiar with the matter.

Olayan Financing Co, which controls the family’s investments in the Middle East, may set up a new holding company for as many as 20 of its units, which could be worth as much $5 billion, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Shares in the holding company would be sold to the public and listed on Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange, the people said.

An IPO would be the first time Olayan Financing has sold shares in one of its Saudi businesses since at least 2000, and comes as the kingdom tries to transform itself into a financial powerhouse by expanding the local stock market and selling shares of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Founded by Suliman Olayan in 1947, Olayan Group was valued at more than $10 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in 2015.

Olayan Financing and Saudi Fransi Capital didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Olayan Financing manages more than 40 businesses in the Middle East, including the regional Burger King franchise, according to its website. It may offer shares in one or more of its operating companies to the public, a spokesman said in March.

Olayan Group, which manages the family’s international business, is the largest shareholder in Credit Suisse Group AG with a 5.1 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It also owns global real estate assets including 550 Madison Avenue in New York City, the Knightsbridge Estate in central London and residential buildings in Paris’s 8th arrondissement, according to its website.

Olayan Financing, run by the founder’s daughter and former JPMorgan Chase & Co analyst Lubna Olayan, is one of the country’s biggest makers of tubular oilfield equipment through a joint venture with The Weir Group. The company manufactures aluminum, steel and plastics, while also being the local producer of Kleenex, Coca-Cola and Huggies diapers.

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