DUBAI – Private equity investor Carlyle Group plans to sell its investment in Saudi Arabia’s General Lighting Co. through an initial public share offer in Riyadh in 2013 and is now close to doing its second deal in the Kingdom, sources familiar with the matter said.
Carlyle, which manages around $153 billion of assets globally, has hired Riyadh-based GIB Capital to help with the IPO process for General Lighting, the sources said.
However, it only plans to file for an IPO with the Saudi Arabian regulator late in 2012 and a potential listing will not be before 2013, one of the three sources said.
Washington-based Carlyle bought a 30-percent stake in the Saudi lighting fixtures manufacturer and supplier in March 2010 for an undisclosed amount.
GIB Capital is the investment banking arm of Gulf International Bank, which is owned by six Gulf Arab states. The bank has advised on IPO offerings in excess of $5 billion in the Kingdom, according to its website.
Carlyle, which itself filed for an IPO in September, is also on the cusp of acquiring a 42 percent stake in a family-owned Saudi food products company within the next two weeks, two of the sources said.
No one at Carlyle in London could be immediately reached for comment.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest market in the region.
For private equity firms, the Kingdom’s stock market, provides a viable exit route.
Carlyle’s rival KKR & Co got a license in June to conduct business in the kingdom, while Standard Chartered’s private equity arm bought a minority stake in a Saudi Binladin Group unit for $75 million in August, in its first deal in Saudi Arabia.
In October Carlyle said it was on track to acquire a food processing company by the end of the year and is scouting for more deals in the Gulf region. Carlyle raised $500 million in 2007 for its debut fund in the Middle East and North Africa. In the Gulf it has so far only invested in General Lighting.
Carlyle’s co-founder David Rubenstein said in March the firm is still looking at deals in the Middle East region.
Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi government fund, brought a 7.5 percent stake in Carlyle in 2007, and invested a further $500 million in December last year. - Reuters