Complex Made Simple

Reuters reveals the new Binladin group 1.5 years after graft probe

In a Reuters exclusive, and following a review of documents from the Saudi commerce ministry, construction mogul Saudi Bin Laden shows its new slimmer side following restructuring negotiations that took place following the anti-corruption crackdown in November 2017.

Saudi businessman Khalid Nahas has been named the chairman of the newly-established Binladin Group Global Holding Company.

PhD Holder Khaled Hamza Nahas is a member of SABIC Board of Directors, according to Sabic.

Nahas held various leadership positions, including the Deputy Chairman of the Industrial Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1986-1989), Member of the Shoura Council (1997-2001), and Makkah Mayor (2001-2006).

The new group make-up

Binladin holding is now 36.22% owned by Istidama, a finance ministry subsidiary, and 63.78% by Binladin Company for Development and Commercial Investment, said Reuters.

Bin Laden brothers, Saad and Abdullah, are represented on the new nine-person board.

“The stake owned by Istidama reflects the ownership relinquished by brothers Bakr, Saleh and Saad last year after they were arrested in the corruption purge led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” said Reuters.

“Other board members of the new entity include senior Saudi businessmen with experience at some of the kingdom’s most successful companies such as state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp, and property developer Jabal Omar Development Co.”

Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan told Reuters in December that SBG would soon have a “normal board” with family members and representatives of government ownership after a five-member committee restructured its governance.

Former Chairman Bakr Bin Laden is still detention, sources told Reuters.

The newest mission

Reuters reported in 2018 that the former Saudi Binladin Group has 93 projects in hand and ties to 1,400 subcontractors, “but most of its work is on hold.”

“The company is focusing its efforts on delivering one massive project, commissioned by Prince Mohammed. The project is NEOM, a $500 billion business zone on the Red Sea coast,” it said.

It is tasked with building seaside palaces for the royal family.

BinLadin was chosen based on its ability to handle mega-developments and derive project scalability.

Three Saudi companies, including Saudi BinLadin whose billionaire backers are caught up in an anti-corruption crackdown, have at least $2.1 billion of debt maturing over the next three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In 2018 the group was reported in media as might having a debt totalling around $30 billion.