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Sat 17 Jul 2010 02:14 PM

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Saudi Jouf Cement's $173m IPO for loan, founders

Over half of the proceeds to go to founders of firm which started operations in May.

Saudi Jouf Cement's $173m IPO for loan, founders
SAUDI CEMENT: Al Jouf has a production capacity of 1.75 million tonnes per year - or 5,000 tonnes per day. (Getty Images)

Al Jouf Cement Co plans to raise 650 million riyals ($173.3 million) by selling new and existing shares to the Saudi public, with over half of the proceeds going to the founders of the firm which started operations in May.

Over the July 19-25 period, Al Jouf will offer Saudi investors 27.9 million new shares and 37.1 million existing shares at 10 riyals each to raise the total number of its shares to 130 million, the listing prospectus showed.

About 55.5 percent of the IPO's proceeds will go to founding shareholders who include at least one member of the Saudi royal family and other investors such as KSB Capital Group, which is also acting as the financial adviser for the listing along with state-run National Commercial Bank (NCB).

Ibrahim al-Alwan, a senior KSB executive, said KSB's stake would fall to 6 percent from 12 percent after the IPO.

"The remainder of the proceeds will repay a bridge loan that was taken to fund the capital expenditure and start works on the plant so that production does not get delayed. The production started around the month of May," Alwan told Reuters.

The listing prospectus showed Al Jouf will use 171.5 million riyals of the proceeds to repay debt and 100 million riyals to repay unspecified general costs.

In 2009, the firm obtained a 220 million riyal Islamic loan from NCB to mainly fund its working capital and signed this year an agreement with state-owned Saudi Industrial Development Fund for a financing worth up to 483.5 million riyals to be repaid over 14 instalments in eight years, it said in the prospectus.

Al Jouf has a production capacity of 1.75 million tonnes per year - or 5,000 tonnes per day - and would compete with Tabuk Cement and new entrant Northern Region Cement Co, Alwan said.

"Al Jouf Cement will tap demand from regional markets, such as Iraq which is undergoing a huge reconstruction effort. It has already obtained cement exportation licences," he said. ($1=3.750 Saudi riyals) (Reuters)

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