Alwaleed's Kingdom Revives Talks for $1 Billion LoanBy and
Negotiations were put on hold in November as Alwaleed arrested
Kingdom Holding bought 16.2% stake in Saudi Fransi last year
Kingdom Holding Co. is reviving talks to raise up to $1 billion in loans, weeks after its chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released from detention.
The investment firm restarted talks with local and international lenders about the financing, the company confirmed in a statement Thursday. The loan would be backed by its stake in Banque Saudi Fransi, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be confirmed because the talks are private.
Negotiations were put on hold in November after Alwaleed was arrested as part of an anti-corruption crackdown, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The company sees attractive opportunities for investment locally and internationally and wants to be ready to execute deals, CEO Talal Al Maiman said in the statement.
Alwaleed, the 65th-richest person in the world, was among princes, ministers and senior officials who were held at the Ritz-Carlton for almost three months. He told Reuters in January that his detention was a “misunderstanding.” Alwaleed in September bought a 16.2 percent stake in Saudi Fransi from Credit Agricole SA through Kingdom Holding using “available liquidity and current credit facilities” in a deal valued at about $1.54 billion.
The investment firm is now Saudi Fransi’s largest shareholder, adding to an extensive portfolio that includes a Citigroup Inc. stake, which the prince has held since 1991. Kingdom Holding, in which Alwaleed owns 95 percent, is also an investor in Twitter Inc. and Accor Hotels.
Kingdom Holding shares have fallen 12 percent since his Nov. 4 detention, giving the company a market capitalization of about $9 billion.