Saudi Arabian Airlines updates privatisation plans
Saudi Arabian Airlines Director General, Khalid Almolhem, announced plans to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) of 30% of its catering unit in 3Q2010, with Calyon appointed as advisor (Reuters, 15-Oct-2009). 49% of the catering unit was already privatised in Jan-2008. The carrier also announced plans to merge its ground handling unit with the UK’s National Handling Services and Attar Travel Company Ltd by the end of 2009 or early 2010. The carrier’s maintenance unit will also be privatised in 4Q2010.
Saudi Arabian Airlines: “We are now in the path of going further into IPO mode. What we try to do with the privatisation is to do a private sale, get some expertise, improve the efficiency, and then we move forward to an IPO market at a stage where there is still growth in the company…based on that we think it is still early for the cargo to go into the IPO market,” Khalid Almolhem, Director General. Source: Reuters, 15-Oct-2009.