Saudi Airlines Catering begins search for new CEO

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Saudi Airlines Catering Company (SACC) is seeking a new chief executive following the departure of Christophe Parent, who has resigned from his position for personal reasons. Parent spent nearly five years as the CEO while the company worked on developing its restructuring plan.

He oversaw the privatisation of the Saudi Arabian Airlines catering unit, which this year saw SACC listed on the Saudi stock exchange after completing a 30% initial public offering (IPO). Saudi Fransi Capital and Saudi Hollandi Capital acted as underwriters for the IPO, which was 2.2 times covered by investors and had proceeds amounting to $346.7 million.

A total of 24.6 million shares priced at $14.39 were offered in Saudi Airlines Catering in two tranches. The A tranche was sold to institutional investors, while the B tranche was sold to individual investors.

Post-offering main shareholder Strategic Catering Company sold a 14.7% stake and now retains 34.3%, while Saudi Arabian Airlines reduced its ownership in the catering unit by 12.3% to 35.7%. The other shareholders, Saudia Aviation Company, Saudia Private Aviation Company and Saudia Real Estate and Development Company sold their 1% stake through the sale.

SACC said it accepted Parent's request to terminate his contract on 90 days notice leading up to 1 October 2012. It said that Parent will continue to work during this notice period and the search for a new CEO begins immediately.

The board of directors of SACC also unveiled plans to create a specialised company for catering services - SAC Services - which will provide catering activities and services to offices and residential complexes as well as work locations in remote sites. The new company will have a 30 million riyal ($8 million) registered capital and will be 100% owned by SACC.

The board further approved a 2-riyal-per-share dividend for the first six months of this year. The semi-annual dividends distribution of 164 million riyal represents 20% of the paid-up capital. Dividend eligibility applies for shareholders registered on the close of trading on 15 August, with dividend payments due to commence on 1 September.