By Staff writer
CDCIC International Capital, major French companies agree to invest in Kingdom shares following opening up of Saudi bourse to foreign investors
A consortium of major French companies led by the international investment arm of Caisse des Depots, France's sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to invest at least $150 million in Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), which is chaired by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud.
The deal led by CDCIC International Capital, constitutes the acquisition of KHC's shares with a minimum amount of $150 million which is subject to increase, a statement said.
The number of shares and acquisition share price will be determined at a time closer to execution, the statement added.
The share price will be based on the trading price of the stock on the Saudi Stock Exchange.
The investment is subject to regulatory approvals under the Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority, which recently issued rules for qualified foreign financial institutions investment in listed shares.
Prince Alwaleed, who will retain his full ownership stake in KHC, welcomed the deal.
Foreign fund inflows into Saudi Arabia have been slower than initially expected since the $575 billion market opened up to direct foreign investment earlier this month.
No single foreign investor can own more than 5 percent of a company and overall foreign investment in a company cannot be more than 49 percent. Additionally, there is a 20 percent ceiling for all qualified foreign investors in any one stock and in total these holdings cannot exceed 10 percent of the whole market.
Separately, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding intends to commence discussions on the establishment of a joint investment fund.
Under the agreement, each company will contribute SR375 million ($100 million) to the fund, with third party investors invited at a later date to invest a total of $300 million.
The fund will seek "attractive investment opportunities in small and medium size enterprises in Saudi Arabia with the participation of large French corporates".