(thanks to Margo Iskowtiz)


IPO of Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s company more than twice subscribed

2007-07-22 22:36:31 –

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – The Kingdom Holding co. of billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has closed its initial public offering on the Saudi stock exchange, and the 5 percent shares on offer were more than twice subscribed, the company’s owner and brokers said Sunday.
The IPO ran from July 10 to July 18 and offered 315 million shares in the company, which was until then fully owned by bin Talal and holds stakes in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Fairmont Raffles Hotels, Time Warner, Apple, PepsiCo, Walt Disney Co. and other corporations.
«I am happy with the strong response to the IPO, which marks a new phase in the growth of Kingdom Holding,» bin Talal said in a statement Sunday.
Investors underwrote 8.5 billion Saudi riyals in shares (US$2,27 billion, euro1,64 billion), covering 264 percent of the offering, said Issa Bin Mohammed al-Issa of the Samba Financial Group, the firm that managed the IPO.
«The success achieved by Kingdom Holding’s IPO is a testimony to the trust in the company’s future and its powerful administration,» al-Issa said in a statement.
The Saudi stock exchange said earlier this month that the company would be valued at about 63 billion riyals (US$16.8 billion, euro12.33 billion) when it begins trading.
The IPO was expected to have raised over 3.46 billion riyals (US$920 million, euro640 million).
In 2006, Kingdom Holding co.’s total assets were valued at US$24.65 billion, the Saudi stock exchange says.
The company was established in 1980 and initially focused on construction projects before evolving into one of the largest investment companies in the United States and elsewhere. It has been making an average yearly profit of 20 percent for the past 16 years, the Saudi stock exchange says.
A nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king, bin Talal, 52, is ranked as the world’s 13th-richest person by Forbes magazine.

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