February 21, 2019 / 4:27 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Saudi Alhokair's mall business seeks $1 bln from IPO - sources

(Updates with Moelis, Morgan Stanley declining to comment)

By Hadeel Al Sayegh

DUBAI, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Shopping malls operator Arabian Centres Company, owned by Fawaz Alhokair Group, is seeking $1 billion from a public share listing in the second quarter, sources told Reuters.

Arabian Centres, which has applied for an initial public offering with the Capital Market Authority, is looking to sell a 30 percent stake to investors on Riyadh's stock exchange, the Tadawul, sources told Reuters in January.

Goldman Sachs and EFG Hermes have been appointed as bookrunners and Credit Suisse and Citigroup, may also join, two sources who declined to be named due to commercial sensitivities said on Thursday.

They also said that Moelis was acting as an independent financial adviser, Morgan Stanley as global coordinator and Saudi investment banks Samba Financial Group, and National Commercial Bank as financial advisers.

Arabian Centres, a developer, owner and operator of 19 malls across 10 cities in Saudi Arabia, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Goldman Sachs, EFG Hermes, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Moelis and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Samba and NCB were not immediately available to comment.

Saudi Arabia is encouraging more family-owned companies to list in a bid to deepen its capital markets under a reform push aimed at reducing the kingdom's reliance on oil revenues.

The IPO will come more than a year after Fawaz Alhokair, a major shareholder in Fawaz Alhokair Group, became the subject of an anti-graft probe by Saudi authorities under which dozens of senior officials and businessmen were detained at Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton Hotel in late 2017.

Many, including Alhokair, were released after being cleared or reaching settlements with the government. The crackdown increased caution among banks in their dealings with those firms and in some cases delayed lending to companies with links to the individuals involved. (Additional reporting by Saeed Azhar, Davide Barbuscia and Marwa Rashad; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jane Merriman)

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