Bupa Investments Overseas Limited (BOIL) has completed the acquisition of four percent of Nazer Group’s stake in Bupa Arabia, raising its ownership in the Saudi-listed insurer to nearly half.

The transaction, which involved the purchase of 4.8 million Bupa Arabia shares from Modern Computer Programs Company (MCPC), a Nazer Group firm, was done on August 30, the company said on Monday.

The deal was a private cash transaction at the agreed price of 105 Saudi riyals per share, totalling 504 million riyals ($134 million). It takes BIOL’s stake in Bupa Arabia from 39.35 percent to 43.25 percent.

“The transaction reflects Bupa’s confidence in Bupa Arabia’s strong future growth prospects,” Bupa Arabia said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).

Bupa Arabia is one of the largest health insurers in the kingdom, with more than three million customers. It started as a joint venture with the Nazer Group in 1997. In 2008, the insurer offered 40 percent of its shares to the public in an initial public offering (IPO) that was oversubscribed by more than 900 percent.

No changes

Although it now holds a huge stake in Bupa Arabia, BOIL assured that it doesn’t intend to make any significant changes to the insurer’s business activities, as well as its shareholder and employee structure.

The insurer’s chairman of the board, Loay Nazer and Tal Nazer, the chief executive officer (CEO), will also remain in their respective positions.

“The Nazer Group will continue to remain a long-term shareholder in Bupa Arabia,” Bupa Arabia said.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)


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