Saudi Maaden said to weigh RM21b rights issue


DUBAI • Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) is weighing a plan to raise as much as US$5 billion (RM20.95 billion) through a rights offering to finance potential acquisitions, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The shares plunged.

The company is working with HSBC Holdings plc’s Saudi Arabia unit on the possible offering that could happen later this year, some of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The size of the rights issue hasn’t been finalised and could end up being smaller than US$5 billion, they said.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns a 65% stake in the mining firm, would also participate in the rights issue through a debt for-equity swap and exchange its loans to Maaden subsidiaries into equity, the people said.

Maaden, a so-called national champion in the kingdom’s economic diversification plan, has been looking for possible takeover targets, CEO Darren Davis said in an interview in April.

The company is working with financial advisors including Michael Klein and JPMorgan Chase & Co as it scouts for potential acquisitions, people familiar with the matter said in July.

Maaden shares declined as much as 10% yesterday to 44.8 riyals, the most on an intraday basis since December 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Maaden, PIF and HSBC’s Saudi Arabia unit all declined to comment. — Bloomberg