Corporate Review
Corporate Investments Department

The Corporate Investments Department executes SEDCO Holding’s strategy for direct investments and other investment mandates. It guides Group company investment strategy and provides support by applying good corporate governance practices, appointing strong management teams, and bringing in specialist experts where necessary.

“WE SIGNED SALES AND PURCHASE AGREEMENTS TO DIVEST TARFEEH, THE CASUAL DINING FRANCHISE OPERATOR, AND EJADA, THE LEADING IT SERVICES PROVIDER.”

The year brought some promising signs of recovery in most portfolio companies, including Elaf, the tourism, travel and hotels sector leader, and Red Sea Markets, which owns and operates Red Sea Mall.

The department continued to support portfolio companies in maintaining or improving their business operations and financial liquidity, although Covid-19 continued to present challenges, with varying degrees of impact depending on the sector. Businesses reliant on the Hajj and Umra market – or otherwise with exposure to the western region – continued to be impacted.There were also some major highlights as we activated key elements in SEDCO Holding’s Focus 2025 strategy. We signed sales and purchase agreements (SPAs) to divest two portfolio companies: Tarfeeh, the casual dining franchise operator; and Ejada, the leading IT services provider.

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) approved the IPO application by Nahdi Medical Company, the MENA region’s largest pharmacy and healthcare chain, for the offering of 30% of its share capital, while AutoWorld’s strong recovery followed the company’s successful turnaround in 2019-20.

SEDCO also took 100% ownership of Yusr International Schools with the acquisition of the remaining 35% and a new General Director was appointed.

In response to reduced visitor numbers to the holy sites because of the pandemic, Elaf underwent significant restructuring, resulting in the appointment of a new Board of Directors and executive management team.

There was a further senior appointment, of a new CEO at Al Mahmal Facilities Services Company, and the Corporate Investments Department itself made new appointments including Chief Direct Investments Officer, Senior Director and Senior Investment Analyst.

The year ahead promises some exciting developments. We will implement our new strategy, which focuses on investments in sectors that closely correlate with those highlighted in Vision 2030 such as healthcare, education, tourism and ecommerce – and will look to become more active in the market.

Greater liquidity next year will give us opportunities to explore new investments in existing portfolio companies, as well as evaluate new investments in tourism, ecommerce, healthcare, facilities management, F&B and education. We will also actively consider investing in new asset classes, such as public equities and venture capital.