Saudi prince turns to rich families to invest in world’s biggest IPO

Saudi Arabia is negotiating commitments from its wealthiest citizens to buy stock in the Aramco initial public offering, from the Olayan family and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal to low-profile tycoons in the oil producer’s backyard, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The billionaire Olayans, who own a major stake in Credit Suisse Group AG, are considering buying several hundred million US dollars worth of Aramco shares, according to the people. Prince Alwaleed has also held talks to commit a significant amount to the IPO, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was among the billionaires and officials that the government detained in the Ritz Carlton in 2017.Credit:AP

Aramco representatives have been seeking an investment from the Almajdouie family, whose businesses range from distributing Hyundai Motor vehicles in the kingdom to a large logistics operation, the people said. They have also approached members of the Al-Turki clan, who are involved in fields from real estate to general trading, food distribution and ports, the people said.

Saudi Arabia is turning to rich local families, some of whom had members detained in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel during a 2017 corruption crackdown, as it seeks to shore up demand for the record-breaking share sale. Some control sprawling groups of companies, and it wasn’t immediately clear which vehicles they would use to buy the stock or if certain individuals would invest their personal fortunes.


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