Saudi Wealth Fund Builds $2.4 Billion Stake in Food Producer

Updated on
  • Public Investment Fund now holds 16.32% stake in Almarai
  • Fund owns stakes valued at about $110b in listed Saudi cos

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund became the third-biggest shareholder in Almarai Co. as it boosts investments at home and abroad.

The Public Investment Fund owns 163.2 million shares, or 16.32 percent, of Riyadh-based dairy farm operator and food processor, according to a regulatory filing that didn’t disclose the identity of the seller. The stake is valued at about 9 billion riyals ($2.4 billion) based on Oct. 12 closing prices, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The PIF is at the center of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify revenue away from oil under an economic transformation plan known as Vision 2030. The fund could eventually control more than $2 trillion in assets, according to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It holds assets worth about $110 billion in listed Saudi companies, including stakes in companies such as Saudi Basic Industries Corp., and National Commercial Bank.

Almarai rose 3.6 percent to close at 56.97 riyals in Riyadh. The shares are up 4 percent this year, while the kingdom’s benchmark Tadawul All Share Index is down about 4 percent.

The Savola Group remains the biggest shareholder of Almarai, with a 34.5 percent stake, even after it sold shares valued at about 1.12 billion riyals last month.

Read: Blackstone, SoftBank Deals Put Saudi Wealth Fund on the Map

— With assistance by Matthew Martin

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