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Monday, Apr 15, 2024

PIF plans to acquire ‘significant’ stake in Saudi papermaker MEPCO     

PIF plans to acquire ‘significant’ stake in Saudi papermaker MEPCO     

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund eyes acquiring a “significant” minority stake in Middle East Paper Co. as the sovereign fund aims to broaden its investments in local businesses.
In a bourse filing, MEPCO said the sovereign wealth fund intends to subscribe to newly issued shares in the company for a price of SR31.50 ($8.40) per share, subject to approval from the Capital Market Authority and other regulatory bodies.

MEPCO shares were trading at SR34 per share on Tadawul as of 12 p.m. Saudi local time on Sunday.

Both companies agreed to execute a non-binding memorandum of understanding which will expire on July 31 or upon entering into a legally binding subscription agreement, whichever comes first, added the Tadawul filing.

It clarified that the implementation of the transaction is subject to both parties entering into a subscription agreement, adding that they will cooperate and negotiate to complete the agreement.

SNB Capital is the financial adviser for MEPCO, whereas the PIF has hired GIB Capital to advise on the deal.

The PIF is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world driven by Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative.

It has more than SR2 trillion worth of assets under management and aims to double that figure by 2025 and create 1.8 million jobs, said Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, on the seventh anniversary of the launch of Saudi Vision 2030.

The acquisition is set to broaden PIF’s scope as it expands its portfolio by diversifying its investments into local non-oil sectors.

Its interest in MEPCO, which offers products for packaging in multiple sectors, comes when the papermaker recorded a 22.58 percent increase in net profits at SR270.73 million in 2022, compared to SR220.86 million in 2021.

Moreover, the company has completed 85 percent of its SR365.5 million Juthor paper production plant which is set to begin trial operation in this quarter.

The new plant will produce Jumbo tissue rolls for facial tissues, pocket tissues, napkins, toilet paper, kitchen towels, and C-fold tissues.
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