May 28, 2012 / 12:35 PM / 7 years ago

Saudi group eyes stake sale in lubricant venture-sources

* Alhamrani Group to sell majority stake in lubricant venture

* Sale likely to generate between $400-$500 mln - sources

* Germany’s Fuchs Petrolub holds remaining stake

* Rothschild advising Alhamrani on sale process - sources

By Dinesh Nair

DUBAI, May 28 (Reuters) - The Alhamrani Group, a family-owned Saudi conglomerate, is considering the sale of its approximate two-thirds stake in a lubricant business joint venture with Germany’s Fuchs Petrolub, two banking source said.

The potential sale of the stake in Alhamrani-Fuchs Petroleum Saudi Arabia Ltd is expected to generate $400-$500 million for the conglomerate with automotive, financial services and building materials operations, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.

The remaining, approximate one-third stake is held by Fuchs Petrolub which has a right of first refusal on any sale, the sources said. The German firm is not selling its stake in the venture, the sources added.

Alhamrani is near to completing a second round of the bidding process, one of the banking sources said, adding talks have been ongoing for the last six months.

“Interest for the stake is mainly from financial investors in the region. With the second round now nearing completion, the deal may close in the coming weeks,” the source said.

Investment bank Rothschild is advising on the sale, according to the sources.

Rothschild declined to comment. Alhamrani Group and Fuchs Petrolub did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Alhamrani-Fuchs, formed in a joint venture in 1995, runs a lubricant blending plant in Yanbu, the largest of its kind in the Middle East and Africa, according to Alhamrani group’s website.

The plant has a capacity of over 95,000 metric tonnes and meets 30 percent of Saudi Arabia’s domestic lubricant requirements and exports to 26 countries in the region, the website says.

Fuchs Petrolub is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of lubricants and related speciality products.

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