The Saudi Airlines Catering Company’s initial public offering (IPO) has received a “good response” from investors and businessmen, said Khaled A. Al-Molhem, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia).
Speaking on the sidelines of a road show, Al-Molhem gave details of the IPO, its timeline and other essential information as per the rules of the Capital Market Authority (CMA). He said the presentation at the event gave answers to commonly asked questions about the IPO and explained strategies that “we are adopting”.
He pointed out that the closing date for institutional bids will be June 11, while announcement of the offer price will be made on June 13 for the IPO of 30 percent of Saudi Airlines’ catering unit.
He said the company’s prospectus has been posted to the public prior to the subscription period sufficiently in advance.
The prospectus includes all relevant information that investors’ need to know before making an investment decision, including the share price, company’s financial statements, activities and management, he added.
Al-Molhem, who also gave an overview of the operation of Saudi Arabian Airlines and its subsidiaries with special reference to the growth of aviation sector in his interview, said that long-awaited share-sale in catering company was anticipated by investors.
About the timeline of the IPO, the Saudia chief said the deadline for receiving institutional application forms will be June 16, while the last date to deposit the accepted bid amounts will be June 23.
All documents including copy of the commercial registration and articles of association must reach the Saudi Fransi Capital on before 1 p.m. on June 11.
The retail offer period for IPO will be from June 18 to 24, while final allocation and refunds will be made on July 1, it was announced during the road show.
The price range will be SR 42 to SR 54 per share, said an official during the presentation.
The offering, which will consist of 24.6 million shares, will be sold to the public from June 18 to 24, said Al-Molhem.
The IPO, which analysts have formerly estimated will be worth between $400 million to $540 million, has been delayed before, with the company initially targeting a flotation date in late 2010.
Saudi Airlines started a process of privatization in 2006 by splitting into six units – catering, cargo, maintenance, airlines, flight academy and ground handling. It plans to privatize each of the units individually and offer them to the public.
Referring to the growth of Saudi Airlines Catering Company, Almolhem said that the catering unit was supplying meals to 35 airlines.
“It prepares and supplies 70,000 meals per day,” said the Saudia chief, adding that the meal preparation takes place in custom-designed catering units located in Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Cairo. Each catering unit houses designated areas like loading bays to receive supplies, dry and cold storage facilities, hot and cold kitchens, bakeries and dishwashing facilities.
The average daily capacity across all units is around 107 flights. An automated “temperature” monitoring process has been installed to allow for the online tracking of meals through the entire preparation, delivery and storage process, thus ensuring food quality and safety. Saudi Arabian Airlines Catering (SAAC) Ltd., part of Saudia Arabian Airlines, was established in Jeddah in 1981.
To meet every challenge and cater to the growing need of meals by local and foreign carriers, a cosmic expansion plan of infrastructure, facilities, equipment and professionals has been put together in the catering operations.
“As a result, catering division has emerged as an ideal facility to serve our needs and most importantly our customers in the region and throughout the world,” added Al-Molhem.

Add Comment