Saudi’s Kingdom Holding buys $450m stake in Citigroup from Prince Alwaleed

Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s investment company Kingdom Holding said on Wednesday it raised its ownership in Citigroup to 2.2% after acquiring from the prince a stake in the bank worth about $450 million.

The company previously owned 1.6% of the Wall Street lender, it told the Saudi bourse in a filing, adding that the deal supported Kingdom Holding’s strategic plans, but did not elaborate.

Saudi Arabia’s self-styled Warren Buffett, Prince Alwaleed has made hundreds of millions of dollars by investing with almost complete autonomy in companies from Uber to social network Twitter, now known as X.

Alwaleed rose to international prominence after making a big successful bet on Citigroup in the 1990s when the bank struggled with Latin American loan losses and the U.S. real estate market collapse. He was also an early investor in Apple.

Last year, the billionaire prince sold a stake of 16.87% to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. He owns a stake of 78.1% in Kingdom Holding, with the remaining 5% floated on the Saudi stock exchange.

The deal came more than four years after Prince Alwaleed was swept up in an anti-corruption drive ordered by the Crown Prince and held for nearly three months at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton along with scores of royals, senior officials and businessmen.

Most detainees were released after reaching financial settlements and Prince Alwaleed said in March 2018 that he had struck a confidential and secret deal with the government.

Reuters