DUBAI May 15 General Lighting Co, a Saudi
Arabian company part-owned by Carlyle Group, plans to
sell its shares on the Saudi stock market, paving the way for
the private equity firm to exit its stake, two sources said.
General Lighting is the largest lighting company in Saudi
Arabia and Carlyle acquired its 30 percent stake in the firm for
an undisclosed amount in March 2010.
Washington D.C.-based Carlyle, which had assets under
management of $176 billion at the end of March, has hired
Riyadh-based GIB Capital and law firm Latham & Watkins to help
arrange the initial public offering (IPO), the sources said,
speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.
Saudi Arabia is the largest Gulf Arab stock market and the
only bourse in the region where initial share sales have been
active in the last few years.
Companies in Saudi Arabia generally offer 30 percent of
their capital in IPO. A spokeswoman for Carlyle in London
declined to comment. Dow Jones newswire reported the IPO filing
plan earlier in the day.
Carlyle raised $500 million in 2007 for its debut fund in
the region. The fund now has stakes in six companies in its
portfolio, including Turkish lingerie and swim wear maker Penti
and Jordanian firm Nabil Foods, which the firm bought in May.
It has not exited any of its investments in the region so
far. Carlyle owns a 40-percent stake in Turkish hospitals group
Medical Park and London-based private equity fund Pamplona
Capital Management is in exclusive talks to buy a majority stake
in the firm, a source close to the matter told Reuters in April.