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Saudia aircraft maintenance subsidiary targets IPO

Traders monitor a screen showing stock information at the Tadawul in Riyadh Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser
Traders monitor a screen showing stock information at the Tadawul in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Technic, the aircraft maintenance subsidiary of state-owned Saudia Group, is targeting a public share sale before the end of the decade, its CEO told Reuters at the Dubai Airshow.

The company is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in either 2028 or 2029, Fahd Cynndy said on Tuesday on the sidelines of the major aviation industry event, without disclosing which exchange it would float on.

The company has no immediate plans to tap debt markets, he added.

“We have institutional investors that have committed a significant amount for the capability building. It covers our business plan up until the IPO target,” Cynndy said.

Saudi Arabia has seen a flurry of IPOs in recent years as several state-backed companies have listed shares or are pursuing listings, as part of broader plans to deepen capital markets, grow the private sector, and attract investment.

Cynndy said the company was planning a substantial expansion of its capabilities so that aircraft can be fully serviced within the kingdom.

“We’ve just managed to secure north of SAR5 billion ($1.33 billion) to complete our maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) village,” he said, with phase one of the facility scheduled to open in August 2024.

Cynndy declined to disclose the source of the investment.

The company plans to almost triple its headcount of mechanics and technicians in the next three years as well as expand in new international markets.

Saudi Arabia has been massively spending on the aviation industry as it seeks to transform the kingdom into a tourism and transportation hub, as part of far-reaching economic diversification objectives under its Vision 2030 blueprint.

Saudia and the kingdom’s new airline Riyadh Air both flagged sizeable upcoming orders of aircraft at the air show this week.