RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is set to take a 36 percent stake in the Kingdom’s construction giant Binladin Group, according to Bloomberg.
While PIF did not offer an official response to the report, Bloomberg said the fund is “working with Morgan Stanley on a potential deal to buy into Saudi Binladin Group,” citing people with knowledge of the matter.
“The PIF, as the $700 billion wealth fund is known, is considering acquiring part or all of the 36 percent stake owned by the ministry of finance, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private,” reported Bloomberg.
It added that the sovereign wealth fund is looking to local firms to build the infrastructure needed to host showcase events such as the World Expo. Spokespeople for Morgan Stanley and PIF declined to comment.
Representatives for Binladin couldn’t be reached for comment, according to the outlet. The Kingdom’s fund is helping Saudi Arabia boost its transition from oil and overseeing several giga-projects such as NEOM.
Bloomberg said PIF spent $1.3 billion last year to acquire stakes in four local construction companies to bolster the Kingdom’s domestic construction industry.
Saudi Binladin Group operates in three categories, including construction, power, and industrial.
On the construction side, SBG has worked on more than 15 building projects in Saudi Arabia, including the expansion of the Holy Mosque in Makkah and Al-Faisaliah Tower in Riyadh.
Internationally, the group’s projects include Kuala Lumpur Airport, Sharm El-Sheikh Airport in Egypt as well as Sharjah International Airport and Fujairah International Airport in the UAE.
In the power generation sector, SBG worked on Al-Shoaiba Power Plant and Power Plant No.9, also known as PP9, which generates a capacity of 5,980 megawatts and was built on an area of 3.2 million sq. m.
Also, Binladin Group’s industrial project encompassed the BCS Ready Mix Factory and the Bahra Industrial Complex.
In a press statement earlier this month, PIF revealed it had acquired a 40 percent stake in the Zamil Offshore Co., one of the largest Saudi-based offshore support vessel operators.
According to the wealth fund, this transaction is a part of the fund’s wider strategy to contribute to the development of the Kingdom’s energy base.
In January, PIF increased its stake in Japan-based video game firm Koei Tecmo to 6.60 percent from 5.56 percent. Similarly, in February 2023, PIF raised its stake in Nintendo Co. to 8.26 percent from 7.08 percent, making it the largest outside investor in the Japanese gaming company.
Last month, the fund also acquired a 23.8 percent stake in Middle East Paper Co., one of the leading manufacturers specializing in producing and recycling paper products in the region.