Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding approves acquisition of 4.76 million shares in Lyft

Shareholders gave the nod to purchase from the Saudi company’s chairman, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

(FILES) This file photo taken on July 04, 2017 shows Saudi Arabian royal Al-Waleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud looking on during a meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake in Colombo.
Saudi Arabia released billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal on January 27, 2018 nearly three months after his arrest in an anti-corruption drive targeting the kingdom's elite, a business associate told AFP.
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Kingdom Holding approved the purchase of 4.76 million shares in US ride-hailing company Lyft from the Saudi entity’s chairman, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Shareholders of the Saudi Arabian investment company approved the related-party transaction during an annual general meeting, Kingdom Holding said in a statement on Monday to Saudi bourse Tadawul, where its shares trade.

The deal was executed with no preferential terms, the company said.

Lyft, Uber's California-based rival, was valued at $24.3 billion (Dh89.26bn) in the ride-hailing sector's first IPO in March. Kingdom Holding has a 2.98 per cent stake in the company and is also one of the investors in Careem.

The stock price of Lyft Inc. is seen on a display after the company's IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City, New York, U.S., March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

In March, Uber agreed to buy Dubai’s ride-hailing company Careem for $3.1bn, making it the biggest such deal for start-ups in the region.

Kingdom Holding's investment is part of a strategy to back technology and transport start-ups. The chief executive of the company said it intends to remain an investor in both Uber and Lyft.

"We are an investment house, we do not leave our investment, we actually make money out of it," said Talal Al Maiman, Kingdom Holding's chief executive, at the Bloomberg Invest event in Abu Dhabi in April, adding that there is no conflict of interest.

Kingdom Holding is seeking investment opportunities in local Saudi family businesses and is upbeat over the government’s privatisation initiatives, he said.

Mr Al Maiman said the company is now focusing on balancing its investments with respect to sector, geography and industry.