Saudi Binladin Group Denies Takeover by Government

Saudi Binladin Group denies govt takeover after chief detained

Saudi Binladin Group denies govt takeover after chief detained

Saudi Binladin Group did admit that some shares may have been transferred to the government.

Worldwide media this week reported Saudi Arabia's government had taken over the firm after chairman Bakr bin Laden was detained.

The Saudi Binladin Group "would like to confirm that it remains a private sector company owned by its shareholders", it said in a statement.

But some company shares may have been transferred to the government in a settlement of "outstanding dues", it added, without providing any details on the size of any such shares.

Saudi officials say they are negotiating with the detainees to collect as much as $100 billion for state coffers. These also include Saudi billionaire prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.

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SBG was established in 1931 by Mohammed Binladin.

Since the detention of Bin Laden family members, the finance ministry has formed a five-member committee, including three government representatives, to oversee the group's business and handle relations with suppliers and contractors, the sources said.

However, the group has been hurt financially in the past couple of years by a slump in the construction industry and a temporary exclusion from new state contracts after a crane accident killed 107 people at Mecca's Grand Mosque in 2015.

The firm had been working for years on the multi-billion-dollar project to accommodate the increasing numbers of Muslim pilgrims to the site. This includes the projects now operating in the two holy mosques and the Zamzam rehabilitation project, which began months ago and is expected to end before Ramadan 2018, the company said on Saturday.

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