Riyadh Metro joins station branding ride

The Riyadh Metro project is part of the country’s ambitious program to reform the economy and society. (Reuters)
Updated 15 October 2017
0

Riyadh Metro joins station branding ride

RIYADH — The $23 billion Riyadh Metro launched an auction on Sunday for private companies to name and advertise in select metro stops when the system opens in 2019, an initiative that could generate millions of dollars to help cover operational costs.
Construction on the 176-kilometer metro began in 2014 after contracts were awarded to consortiums headed by US construction giant Bechtel Corp, Spain’s Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas and Italy’s Ansaldo STS.
The metro’s six lines and 85 stations are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2019. They will be served by electric, driverless trains in what officials describe as the world’s largest public transport system currently under development.
Construction has pushed ahead amid speculation the project could be scaled back or delayed following a slump in Saudi Arabia’s oil revenues. The metro is part of the country’s ambitious program to reform the economy and society.
Local and international companies licensed in the kingdom will be eligible to bid for naming and advertising rights at 10 stations, said officials from the state-run Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), which oversees the metro project.
Another 10 stations could be offered at a later auction. Bids must be submitted by Jan. 25 and winners will be announced by mid-2018, the officials said.
“(The revenues) will be allocated for running the train and supporting the public transit system in the city”, said Alwalid Alekrish, Director of Construction Development Projects and Project Director of the Riyadh Metro.
He declined to specify how much the auction was expected to generate, but the potential is large. The metro in neighboring Dubai has earned hundreds of millions of dollars with a similar initiative, according to local media.
Promotional materials suggested winning companies would have their logos plastered throughout the stations – at turnstiles, elevators, passageways and shopping areas.


Abraaj gets $50m Abu Dhabi bid for investment management business

Updated 28 min 16 sec ago
0

Abraaj gets $50m Abu Dhabi bid for investment management business

  • Abu Dhabi Capital Management's (ADCM) bid is well below the $125 million
  • Abraaj, which declined to comment on ADCM's offer, has debt estimated at more than $1 billion

ABU DHABI: An Abu Dhabi Financial Group company has made a conditional $50 million offer to buy private equity firm Abraaj's investment management business, a document reviewed by Reuters shows.
Abu Dhabi Capital Management's (ADCM) bid is well below the $125 million offered by New York-based Cerberus Capital Management before Dubai-based Abraaj filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands last week.
It was unclear whether the terms of the offer that Cerberus made were different from the one made by ADCM.
ADCM stated its terms in a letter to Abraaj's financial adviser Houlihan Lokey dated June 17, which said it will not buy any companies owned by Abraaj and its affiliates and will not assuume any liabilities.
Abraaj has been bruised by a row with four of its investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and International Finance Corp (IFC), in a $1 billion healthcare fund.
It has denied it misused the funds.
Abraaj Holdings said on Tuesday a court in the Cayman Islands ordered the appointment of PwC as provisional liquidators of Abraaj Holdings and Deloitte as provisional liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Ltd., Abraaj's fund management business.
ADCM, an ADFG entity based in Cayman Islands, wants to become the General Partner of the limited partnerships, which have committed money to Abraaj's various private equity funds.
Abraaj acts as the general partner for these limited partnerships.
Some Gulf limited partners - ranging from financial institutions to pension funds and family businesses - in funds of Abraaj had asked ADFG to explore a buyout of Abraaj's investments business as they were concerned about their holdings, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters.
Abraaj, which declined to comment on ADCM's offer, has debt estimated at more than $1 billion, sources have told Reuters.
Since the dispute went public early this year, Abraaj has split its investment management business and holding company, while its founder Arif Naqvi stepped aside from the day-to-day running of its private equity fund unit and the firm halted its investment activities.