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Kingdom Holding Said to Seek Loan to Fund World’s Tallest Tower

Kingdom Holding Co., Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment company, is seeking a loan to help pay for the construction of the world’s tallest tower, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company initiated talks with Saudi lenders and hasn’t hired bankers to advise on the financing, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Kingdom Holding, 95 percent owned by Prince Alwaleed, is seeking to borrow as much as 2 billion riyals ($533 million) by the second half of the year, one of the people said.

Kingdom Holding has said it will use bank financing, cash and revenue from the project to build the skyscraper in Jeddah, which will surpass the Burj Khalifa in Dubai as the world’s tallest tower. Kingdom Tower, with a height of more than 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), is expected to cost $1.2 billion to build. Construction is expected to be concluded in about five-and-a-half years.

A spokeswoman for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based Kingdom Holding didn’t respond to calls or an e-mail seeking comment.

The company’s shareholders last month approved a plan to sell as much as 3.75 billion riyals of bonds in Saudi Arabia or outside the country. Saudi Binladen Group, hired to build the tower, has invested 1.5 billion riyals for a 16.6 percent stake in Jeddah Economic Co., the project’s owner. The building received final municipal approvals in February.

The tower will include a Four Seasons hotel, apartments, offices, three lobbies on the upper floors and the world’s highest observation deck on the 157th level. The building was designed by Adrian Smith, the Chicago architect responsible for the 828-meter Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010.

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