Saudi Billionaire Prince Alwaleed To Invest Careem Proceeds In Europe, Saudi

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud’s investment firm Kingdom Holding will invest the proceeds from the sale of its stake in ride-hailing startup Careem towards new investments in the kingdom and Europe.

Kingdom Holding’s CEO Talal Ibrahim Al Maiman told Reuters on Friday that the firm is looking at investing 70% of its gains into income-generating dividend-distributing investments and 30% into technology and potential growth companies.

Kingdom, which is 95%-owned by billionaire Price Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud and his family, sold its stake in Careem last week for $333m in cash and convertible bonds in Uber Technologies.

“We have five companies on the table that are being discussed, deliberated. Hopefully we will be able to come to a conclusion on where to invest within the next eight weeks,” Talal Ibrahim Al Maiman said in a phone interview.

Some of the companies are in Saudi Arabia and some are in Europe, he said. “We’re talking about $600m or so.”

“We will not deploy all the cash in one go, but this is the first tranche,” he added. “It’s a combination of debt and equity.”

Kingdom was among the earliest investors in Careem, Uber’s biggest competitor in the Middle East. Uber recently acquired Careem in a $3.1bn deal ahead of a highly anticipated initial public offering.

“We’ve made almost 100 per cent in Careem, so we’ve done very well. It’s been really a good week for Kingdom.”

Maiman said Kingdom would consider raising its investments in Lyft or Uber if the investment firm spots an opportunity.

“I think it would be a while before Lyft looks outside North America… but the Middle East would probably be one of the best international markets versus, for example, South America or the like,” he said.

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is the controlling shareholder of publicly traded Kingdom Holding, an investment company that owns chunks of private and public companies in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. Holdings include stakes in ride-sharing firm Lyft, social media firm Twitter, Citigroup, hotel management company Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, the swanky Hotel George V in Paris and the Savoy Hotel in London.

 

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