Sources say investment firm has restarted talks with local and international lenders
Kingdom Holding is reviving talks to raise about $1 billion in loans, weeks after its chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released from detention, people familiar with the matter said.
The investment firm restarted talks with local and international lenders about the financing backed by its stake in Banque Saudi Fransi, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Talks were put on hold in November after Alwaleed was arrested as part of an anti-corruption crackdown, people said at the time.
Alwaleed, the 65th-richest person in the world, was among princes, ministers and senior officials who were held at the Ritz Carlton for almost three months. He told Reuters in January that his detention was a “misunderstanding.”
Alwaleed in September bought a 16.2 percent stake in Saudi Fransi from Credit Agricole through Kingdom Holding using “available liquidity and current credit facilities” in a deal valued at about $1.54 billion.
The investment firm is now Saudi Fransi’s largest shareholder, adding to an extensive portfolio that includes a Citigroup stake, which the prince has held since 1991. Kingdom Holding, in which Alwaleed owns 95 percent, is also an investor in Twitter and Accor Hotels.
Kingdom Holding shares have fallen 12 percent since his November 4 detention, giving the company a market capitalization of about $9 billion. A spokesman for Kingdom Holding didn’t respond to requests for comment.