NCB Capital acquires majority stake in SRMG as Saudi's Prince Alwaleed divests his shares

Published November 2nd, 2015 - 12:00 GMT

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Company announced Sunday the sale of its almost 30 per cent share in a press group that publishes pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat. Kingdom Holding said in a statement that it was selling its 29.9pc share in the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) for 837.3 million riyals ($223m).

SRMG is linked to the ruling Al Saud family via one of King Salman's sons, Prince Ahmed, who holds 6.8pc of the capital. SRMG publishes several leading newspapers and magazines, including the London-based Asharq Al Awsat, Arab News, and the economic daily Al Eqtisadieh.

In February, Prince Alwaleed said he had reduced his stake in Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation from 6.6pc to about 1pc.

The Saudi prince holds 95pc of Kingdom Holding, a company which is listed on the Saudi stock market.

He also owns Alarab, a pan-Arab news channel, which went off the air a day after its launch in Bahrain last February following an interview it broadcast with a Shiite opposition leader.

SRMG announced that NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of Saudi's largest bank National Commercial Bank, had acquired 55.21 per cent of SRMG, split between NCB Capital Fund 13 with 29.9 per cent and NCB Capital Fund 4 with 25.3 per cent. NCB Capital do not plan any changes to the overall "strategy of the company and have no plans to buy rest of the outstanding shares," the statement said.

Ed: This article has been edited from the source material to include details of NCB Capital's purchase

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