Saudi Binladin Shareholders May Have Settled With GovernmentBy
Construction contractor’s leader detained since November
Company says some shares may have been transferred to kingdom
Some shareholders of Saudi Arabia’s biggest construction company may have transferred stock to the kingdom to “settle outstanding dues,” but the company remains private, Saudi Binladin Group said in a statement on Saturday.
Bakr Binladin, a scion of the closely-held firm and the half-brother of al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, has been swept up in a corruption crackdown with other billionaires and princes since November. Some of the detained men have been freed after paying settlements. Saudi authorities have said that they expect to collect as much as $100 billion.
Details of the Binladin settlement weren’t disclosed. The company had revenue of $3 billion in 2016, according to Orbis, a database of company information published by Bureau van Dijk. It had struggled to pay workers that year after slumping oil prices depleted the coffers of the Saudi government, its main client.
“Based on information available to management, some of the shareholders may have agreed a settlement that involves transferring some SBG shares to the government of Saudi Arabia against outstanding dues,” the company said in the statement. “SBG sees this as a positive step and is currently restructuring its governance and executive management team.”
The company said it will continue with its projects in Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest cities in Saudi Arabia. Binladin said it started a supervisory committee with independent members who will oversee a new management team trying to return the company to profitability.