Tuesday 15, May 2018 by Jessica Combes

Goldman plans multi-billion dollar deal to fuel Saudi growth


US lender Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has approached a Saudi state-owned entity about a multibillion-dollar deal

As Goldman Sachs prepares to use its own money in the Kingdom for the first time Wassim Younan, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East and North Africa said, “We’re very keen on deploying our principal capital in the region in both forms: credit and equity capital. We continue to prospect for opportunities to do so, and we’ve put forward at least one meaningful, multibillion-dollar proposal to a state-owned enterprise.”

According to Bloomberg, Younan declined to name the company or to give more details about the type of deal the bank is looking at, though Goldman has traditionally advised companies and governments on takeovers and fundraising efforts in the region and is looking for opportunities in the Kngdom to invest the firm’s own capital alongside its clients, he said in a March interview. Goldman has taken a number of important steps to build its presence in the Kingdom, which included acquiring a stock-trading licence, becoming involved in deals which included the Kingdom’s dollar bond sale, and increasing its headcount, all of which have ensured the company is well-positioned to take advantage as the nation diversifies its economy away from oil and opens up to foreign investment.

On Sunday, CEO Lloyd Blankfein confirmed via video message at a conference in Riyadh that Goldman will double its personnel in the Kingdom, Bloomberg reported. Last year Goldman was hired to advise Jabal Omar Development Co. on a potential merger with Umm Al Qura Development and is said to be among banks likely to manage the Saudi Aramco IPO, which could the world’s largest share sale.

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