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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Saudi Arabia's Ma’aden is said to work with advisers on potential acquisitions

One of the biggest mining firms in the region is also looking to restructure its balance sheet 

Ma'aden is working with financial advisers as it looks to scouts for potential acquisitions. AFP
Ma'aden is working with financial advisers as it looks to scouts for potential acquisitions. AFP

Saudi Arabian Mining Company, or Ma’aden as the kingdom’s biggest metals producer is known, is working with financial advisers including Michael Klein as it restructures its balance sheet and scouts for potential acquisitions, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr Klein, the former Citigroup investment banker who runs his own boutique advisory firm, is giving the company, strategic advice, the people said who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

HSBC Holdings is advising on its capital market plans, while JP Morgan Chase is helping the mining major to identify potential deal opportunities, some of the people said.

A spokesman for Ma’aden declined to comment, while Mr Klein couldn’t be reached for a comment. JPMorgan and HSBC also declined to comment.

Saudi Arabia has identified Ma’aden as one of its so-called national champions and plans to boost its international competitiveness and profile, people familiar with the plans said in late 2016. The company is looking to expand internationally through mergers and acquisitions, former chief executive

Khaled Al Mudaifer said in an interview in October. Deals will be focused on industrial metals and fertilizers, he said at the time.

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Mr Klein, 54, is a prolific force in the mergers and acquisitions industry and one of Saudi Arabia’s key international advisers on its plans to diversify its economy away from oil. He’s working with the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, on its partnerships with international companies and cooperating closely with its managing director Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

Mr Klein is also said to have provided strategic advice to the Saudi government on the initial public offering of state-owned Saudi Aramco.

Elsewhere, Mr Klein has landed roles advising on some of the biggest deals in the past few years. His firm, M Klein & Company, was listed first among advisers to Dow Chemical on its merger with DuPont, one of the largest-ever chemicals deals. He also worked as a go-between for the chief executive officers on Glencore 2012 merger with Xstrata.