September 13, 2017 / 6:04 AM / a year ago

Saudi food company Savola moves to sell 2 pct stake in Almarai

DUBAI, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabian food maker Savola Group, the country’s largest food products company, said on Wednesday that it is selling a 2 percent stake in Almarai, the Gulf’s largest dairy company for 1.12 billion riyals ($307.6 million).

The sale was conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding process, which will cut Savola’s stake in Almarai to 34.52 percent from 36.52 percent, it said, adding that it will use the proceeds of the sale for general corporate purposes.

Savola said that completion of the deal to sell 16 million shares at a price of 70 riyals per share and receipt of the proceeds remained subject to the execution of the trades and the completion of the settlement.

The company said it had appointed HSBC as broker and bookrunner for the deal.

Savola will record a profit of 694.1 million riyals during the third quarter of the current financial year after the deal is complete, it said.

Savola’s second quarter net profit dropped 9.6 percent, it said last month, blaming lower sales and lower margins in the retail sector and higher losses from an unnamed associate.

Saudi retailers have been struggling due to lower consumer spending as the kingdom’s economy has felt the fallout from reduced government spending linked to smaller oil revenues.

$1 = 3.6415 Qatar riyals Reporting By Tom Arnold; Editing by Saeed Azhar

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