Saudi Arabia’s Fawaz Alhokair targets $1bn from IPO of mall unit

Fawaz Alhokair

Fawaz Alhokair Group, the Saudi retailer that owns the franchise for brands like Banana Republic and Zara, may raise as much as $1 billion from the share sale of its malls unit in what would be the kingdom’s biggest initial public offering in five years.

Arabian Centres Co. said Tuesday that it will sell 65 million existing shares and 30 million new shares and will list the shares on the Tadawul stock exchange. The proceeds of the offering could “be in range of $1 billion” and might start around April 28, Chief Executive Officer Olivier Nougarou said on a conference call. The company will use the money to reduce debt.

Saudi Arabia’s share sales have slowed as the kingdom’s economy grappled with lower oil prices. Listings by companies and real-estate investment trusts raised close to $900 million last year, down from $6.7 billion in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Samba Capital, Morgan Stanley, NCB Capital and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, EFG-Hermes Holding Co., Emirates NBD Capital KSA and Natixis SA are managing Arabian Centres’ offering.

Alhokair was close to hiring investment banks for the share sale in 2015, Muhanad Awad, the then-CEO of FAS Capital, the financial and investment arm of Fawaz Alhokair Group, said at the time.