Top Saudi Binladin Executives Leave Amid $15 Billion Debt Revamp

Saudi Binladin Group lost two more senior executives, including the head of its biggest business, as the Saudi Arabian construction giant grapples with a crushing debt load of about $15 billion.

Majid Al Harthy resigned as chief executive officer of the Jeddah-based company’s construction division and was replaced by Abdulrahman Bajunaid on Aug. 19, according to an internal announcement seen by Bloomberg. Bajunaid is experienced in financial restructuring, having held senior positions in banking and other private-sector businesses, the memorandum said, without giving reasons for why Al Harthy quit.

The CEO’s exit follows the resignation earlier this month of Saad Bin Laden, the vice chairman of its parent, Binladin International Holding Group, people familiar with the situation said.

The holding company also appointed Ahmed Al Sanea as acting managing director, they said, asking not to be identified speaking publicly about internal matters. The CEO of that same entity is Khalid Al Gwaiz, who joined in March.

A spokesperson for Saudi Binladin didn’t respond to emails and messages seeking comment.

The recent changes follow a leadership overhaul at the end of last year that resulted in the chairman and managing director leaving within months of being appointed, as well as four new appointments to Saudi Binladin’s board, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Financial difficulties at the company, for decades the royal family’s preferred builder, started after a deadly 2015 accident in Mecca resulted in Saudi Binladin being banned from taking on new projects for about eight months. A drop in oil prices that reduced government income has compounded its challenges, as have recent measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak that have weighed on economic output.

The company, founded by Mohammed Binladin in 1931, is working with U.S. investment bank Houlihan Lokey Inc. on reorganizing its debt.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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