HSBC Is Said to Work on Possible IPO of Saudi Arabian Cargo Firm

Saudi Arabian Logistics Co., spun off after more than seven decades as the cargo arm of the kingdom’s flagship airline, is working with HSBC Holdings Plc’s local unit on a potential share sale that could come as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

No final decision has been made on the timing or size of an initial public offering but the listing would only be open to local and qualified investors, the people said, declining to be named as the discussions are private.

The Saudi unit of HSBC was hired late last year as a financial adviser to help SAL, as the company is known, explore its strategic options to raise funds, the people said. HSBC and SAL declined to comment.

Saudi Arabia is readying for an IPO boom that the chief executive of the Riyadh stock exchange expects to generate a record number of new listings this year. As part of its ambitious economic reforms, the kingdom has earmarked various state assets from utilities to aviation for privatization.

SAL was launched as an independent entity at the end of 2019 and became operational shortly after, with responsibility for all ground handling and logistics services across the country’s airports.

Saudi Arabian Airlines Corp. owns 70% of SAL shares and the rest is held by Tarabot, according to the logistics company’s spokesman.

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