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France’s Credit Agricole sells 16.2% stake in Saudi bank to Prince Alwaleed’s firm

France’s Credit Agricole sells 16.2% stake in Saudi bank to Prince Alwaleed’s firm

PARIS: France’sCredit Agricole has agreed to sell about half of its stake in Banque Saudi Fransi to Kingdom Holdings for 5.76 billion riyals ($1.54 billion), the investment firm owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal said on Tuesday.

The French lender is selling 16.2 percent of its ownership in the Saudi bank, Kingdom Holdings said in a bourse statement. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the second half of this year and will be funded through Kingdom’s available liquidity and existing bank facilities. Credit Agricole will remain a strategic shareholder in Banque Saudi Fransi and will support the bank’s activities, the statement said. The Saudi lender added that Credit Agricole may sell an additional equity stake of up to five percent in Banque Saudi Fransi through off-market block trade deals.