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Saudi-listed retail firms suspend merger plans

Cenomi fashion Cenomi
Cenomi Centers and Cenomi Retail said conditions and timing are currently not ideal for the business combination

Two major Saudi conglomerates have shelved their merger plans to create a new retail powerhouse.

Arabian Centres Company (Cenomi Centers) and Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Company (Cenomi Retail) have agreed to end talks on a merger proposal until further notice, the companies said in separate statements to the Saudi stock exchange.

“The conditions and timing are currently not ideal for the business combination”, they stated.

The companies in May disclosed that talks were underway for a potential merger.

Both companies announced a full rebrand in December under the newly created Cenomi Group.

Cenomi Group is a private family company and does not disclose its financials. However, Cenomi Retail and Cenomi Centers are listed on the domestic bourse.

Cenomi Retail is active in 1,500 stores across 100 shopping malls in 11 countries, while Cenomi Centers has a portfolio of 21 assets located in 10 major Saudi cities, attracting over 109 million visitors a year.

Cenomi Centers posted a 45 percent jump in net profit to SAR837 million ($223.2 million) in 2022 on revenue of nearly SAR1.7 billion, while Cenomi Retail reported a net profit of SAR94.6 million, up 14.5 percent year-on-year, on revenue of SAR4.5 billion.

Alpen Capital said Saudi Arabia would lead growth in the GCC as the regional retail market reaches $370 billion by 2026.

Analysts at Fitch forecast that real household spending in the kingdom will grow by 2.5 percent this year, a deceleration from the 4.6 percent posted over 2022, as interest rate hikes to curb inflation trickle through to the local economy.

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