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Saudi investment firm buys $500M stake in GM


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Saudi investment firm buys $500M stake in GM

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington— A Saudi Arabia investment fund disclosed today it owns 1 percent of General Motors Co.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said today his $25 billion Kingdom Holding acquired a 1 percent stake in the Detroit automaker for $500 million ahead of Thursday's initial public offering.

"Kingdom Holding and its chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal subscribed in the initial offering of General Motors for $500 million, which represents 1 percent of the value of the company," the company said in a statement.

The fund holds investments in Apple, PepsiCo, Walt Disney, Time Warner, News Corp. and Hewlett Packard.

The fund's executive director of private equity, Ahmed Halawani, praised GM's prospects.

"GM strongly came back to global competition, where the company was able to reduce its operating and fixed expenses, strengthen its financial position and returned to profitability. We are confident that the current management of GM is able to deliver growth and profits over the coming years. We will be able to achieve the expected return on this investment," Halawani said.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101123/AUTO01/11230396/Saudi-investment-firm-buys-$500M-stake-in-GM#ixzz167c8whJ5

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Saudi billionaire buys 1% GM stake



Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he now holds 1% of General Motors, for which he paid $500 million.

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Alwaleed’s purchase, announced by his investment firm Kingdom Holding, is the second large investment in GM by a single investor to be disclosed. The Saudi prince’s stake is about the same size as SAIC Motor Corp.. GM’s partner in China, which acquired 0.97% of GM when the U.S. Treasury sold about 358 million shares of the automaker for $33 each.

Kingdom’s statement said the investment was based on GM’s brand strength and growth prospects in China and Brazil.

Alwaleed and KHC have wide-ranging investments in several major international companies, including News Corp., Citibank and Disney.

Read more: Saudi billionaire buys 1% GM stake | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101123/BUSINESS0101/101123020/Saudi-billionaire-buys-1-GM-stake#ixzz167eMux7e

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Saudi Prince Now 2nd-Largest GM Investor

Arabic investors targeting auto industry opportunities.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.23, 2010

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed now holds a 1% stake in GM, making him its 2nd-largest shareholder.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is now one of the largest shareholders in General Motors.

The royal billionaire, one of the world’s wealthiest men, announced through a spokesman that he has invested $500 million in the U.S. automaker which, last week, staged a long-awaited initial public offering. The IPO proved far more successful than initially anticipated, in part due to the interest — and cash – of foreign investors.

According to a statement out of the oil-rich kingdom, Alwaleed’s investment arm, Kingdom Holding Co., acquired about 1% of GM stock. The maker sold 358 million shares of common stock as part of its return to public trading, along with another 80 million convertible preferred shares. The common shares were priced at $33 apiece, though KHC declined to provide the details of its purchase.

The investment firm did note that it was placing its financial bet based on “the global strength of General Motors brand, the relatively attractive offering price, and the company’s growth prospects in Brazil and China.”

General Motors last month became the first automaker to sell 2 million vehicles in a single year in the latter market. It has also announced plans to expand its presence in China – and press into promising India – by expanding its ties with Chinese partner, SAIC.

Based on KHC’s statement it appears the royal investor now holds about the same stake in GM as the Shanghai-based manufacturer, SAIC taking a 0.97% stake through the IPO.

Prince Alwaleed is an active investor in a number of Western companies, ranging from Disney to Citibank. Though several sovereign Mideast investment funds had expressed an interest in the GM IPO only KHC ultimately made an investment.

But several Mideast funds, notably including the Saudis and Kuwaitis, have become active in the auto industry in recent years. In 2007, Ford Motor Co. sold its British luxury marque Aston Martin to a consortium that included David Richards, CEO of Prodrive and Chairman of Aston Martin Racing, and two Kuwaiti banks.

Mideastern investors have also placed significant bets on Germany’s various automakers, notably including Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG.



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Saudi Prince Says He Owns 1% of G.M.

Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia is known for his big bets on companies like Citigroup. Now it seems he is swinging for the fences with General Motors.

The prince said on Tuesday that his investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, took a $500 million piece of the car maker’s initial public offering, representing a 1 percent stake of the company. He was one of several big investors G.M. and its advisers courted during the months-long I.P.O. process.

“We are confident that the current management of G.M. is able to deliver growth and profits over the coming years,” Ahmed Reda Halawani, Kingdom Holding’s executive director of private equity, said in a statement. “We will be able to achieve the expected return on this investment.”

Just in case G.M. is curious, the prince isn’t afraid to offer his advice — or criticism — to the heads of the companies he has invested in. Just ask Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit.

DealBook bonus: Here is a photograph of Prince Walid, left, and Mr. Halawani that accompanied their announcement.



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