RIYADH May 3 State-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines
(Saudia) has started the sale of its medical services business
in Jeddah, valued at around $500 million, as part of a drive to
reduce non-core assets, sources familiar with the matter said.
The medical business, which is called Saudia Medical
Services and owns a major hospital, could be attractive for
investors as the Jeddah healthcare market is underserved, the
sources said, declining to be named as the matter isn't public.
Jadwa Investment, an adviser for the sale, has reached out
to potential buyers and the sale process could be completed by
the third quarter. Saudia and Jadwa did not respond to requests
Saudia has been spinning off some subsidiaries through stock
market listings; it listed Saudi Airlines Catering in
2012. But the sale of the Jeddah medical business would be a
complete exit, one of the sources said.
The sales are part of a five-year strategy to make the
airline profitable by 2020. Saudia appointed a new chief
executive, Jaan Albrecht, late last year.
(Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Tom Arnold; Additional reporting
by Katie Paul and Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Andrew Torchia)