May 02 2012
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Saudi Arabian Airlines catering unit IPO set
"The proposal is with the markets regulatory authority... I believe we should get the approval within one month," said spokesman Abdullah al-Ajhar on the sidelines of a travel conference in Dubai. The IPO, which analysts estimate to be worth between $400 million and $540 million, was initially planned for the third quarter of 2010 and was postponed to the end of last year, awaiting regulatory approval.
The Saudi national carrier started a process of privatization in 2006 by dividing the company into six units - catering, cargo, maintenance, airlines, flight academy and ground handling. It plans to privatize each of these units individually and offer shares to the public.
The catering unit was the first to be privatized through private placement in 2008. It is now awaiting regulatory approval to float 30 percent of the company. French bank Credit Agricole is advising on the IPO.
The airline is also looking to purchase another 35 to 50 aircraft to serve the domestic growth, he said.
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