PIF takes $1.5 billion stake in Alwaleed firm

Dubai: Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has bought a $1.5 billion stake in the investment company of billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who previously reached an undisclosed deal with the country's government after being detained and accused of corruption, Bloomberg reported.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) acquired 16.9 per cent of Kingdom Holding Co. from Prince Alwaleed for 9.09 riyals a share, the closing price on the last trading day before the transaction was announced. Prince Alwaleed will retain a 78.1 per cent holding, KHC said on Sunday, with the remaining 5 per cent of the stock listed on the Saudi bourse.

The firm's shares rose almost 10 per cent in Riyadh on Sunday to 9.99 riyals, paring their loss this year to 1.1 per cent.

The PIF's investment brings Alwaleed, whose grandfather was the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, closer to the Saudi government after years of operating independently. The wealth fund is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de factor ruler, and is a key part of his plan to transform the oil dependent economy by investing in other industries.

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