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Saudis set for biggest IPO since 2014

Riyadh

FAWAZ Alhokair Group, the Saudi retailer that owns the franchise for brands like Banana Republic and Zara, may raise as much as US$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 on 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 US$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.

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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 US$900 million last year, down from US$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.

The company operates 19 shopping malls spanning approximately 1.1 million square meters in gross leasable area and plans to add over 300,000 square meters gross leasable area in next 12 months and a further 355,000 square meters in medium term. BLOOMBERG