Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Prince Faisal Bin Salman, chairman of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG), said yesterday that the decision to sell 30 percent of its affiliate Al-Madina Printing & Publishing Company in an initial public offering (IPO) was part of the group’s strategy to expand its activities in the printing industry.
“The IPO is also in line with the economic reform policies adopted by the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah aiming at expanding investment opportunities and increasing the number of joint stock companies on the Saudi bourse,” Prince Faisal said.
Prince Faisal’s statement follows the signing of an agreement last week with Samba Financial Group, appointing the bank as financial consultant and manager of the Al-Madina IPO, which is expected to take place in the first half of next year after obtaining approval from authorities.
Economic analysts have applauded the government’s move to license more joint stock companies that can absorb the country’s growing liquidity.
Prince Faisal described Al-Madina as one of the leading printing companies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region. “It enjoys a strong financial position and has achieved positive results over the years,” he said. Last year it posted SR245 million in revenue and SR68 million in net profits. Al-Madina’s revenue for the first half of this year rose to SR169 million with a net profit of SR67 million.
The SRMG chief said the returns from Al-Madina IPO would be used in accordance with the decision taken by the board to strengthen the group’s position as a market leader, at both local and regional levels.
“We’ll use the returns from the IPO to expand the group’s activities, either through entering into new investment projects or by further strengthening the group,” the prince said. The board may also decide to distribute the returns as dividends among its shareholders, he pointed out.
Prince Faisal said the Al-Madina IPO would have a positive impact on the group as it would lead to increasing its investments. “This again goes in line with the board’s policy of expanding its activities and increasing investments in various media projects so that our shareholders can see its results in the near future,” he explained.
The IPO follows the consecutive successes achieved by the Saudi media giant (which owns Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily and other leading publications) as well as its encouraging financial results in recent years.
Al-Madina, considered one of the largest printing companies in the Middle East, is owned by SRMG. It owns presses in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. Recently it purchased the Hala Press, one of the advanced printing firms in Riyadh.
All Al-Madina presses have advanced printing machines and other facilities. Apart from printing SRMG publications it extends services such as printing school textbooks for the Ministry of Education, specialized magazines and periodicals, catalogs and brochures of other companies and organizations.