Ma’aden looks for potential overseas expansion through acquisitions

Saudi Arabia’s largest mining firm, Ma'aden looks to expand internationally through balance sheet restructuring, and looking out for potential merger and acquisitions deals.

Ma'aden, Mining, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia harbours "unexplored and great opportunities". (Source:

Ma’aden, the “largest mine” in the Arabian Gulf, is a “Saudi Arabian Mining Company”, which were looking to grow on an international scale in May 2018, especially in its “phosphate and fertilisers business”, whereby the C.E.O of the company, Khalid bin Saleh Al Mudaifer had said:
“We have still unexplored and great opportunities in Saudi Arabia. The other is our global presence where we grow outside Saudi Arabia. We have one of the largest phosphate resources in the world now. So we want to make sure we can grow it internationally.”

The company is into gold mining in the areas while it has also been into bauxite mining. Additionally, the company wanted to venture then into “base metals”. In the field of oil export, Saudi Arabia is the top exporter in the global list, besides the country also harbours “some of the world’s highest reserves” which is estimated to be “three billion tonnes or more”.

While, Ma’aden was eyeing the “key consuming markets” under its “overseas expansion” strategy and Mr Al Mudaifer added:
“Wherever is a good mining source, we would like [to be there] and for fertilisers we would like to be in the main regions of consumption, which is the Americas and Asia”.

However, at that point he did give out any information about the possibilities of the company exploring Saudi Arabian uranium, although he stated that Ma’aden kept itself open for getting into “any mining business” with potential. Saudi Arabia has targeted an “ambitious” goal of bringing online sixteen nuclear reactors by the year of 2030, while the country has also explored “sourcing the metal used to develop nuclear fuel domestically”.

Ma’aden leads Sabic, the “lead of fellow Saudi conglomerate” and it has stated that the company were carrying out talks of growing together. Mr Al Mudaifer, however, did not give any specific information. Nevertheless, he talked about the “firm’s $7bn joint venture” in the phosphate production “with the chemicals giant”, wherein there were “grounds for continued discussions on partnerships”.

Even back in the year of 2009, Ma’aden paved the way for future partnership outside the country as it took on the “joint venture” of mining bauxite with “US-based aluminium producer Alcoa”. Talking about the sanctions imposed by the U.S. President, Mr Al Mudaifer said:
“The sanctions are short-term and in the longer term there is a good drive for demand”.

While, he also added further:
“We have very highly leveraged balance sheets and we’re reducing our cash generations. We’re now in the market and we have completed sukuk issuance for phosphate and [its refinancing]”.

In a recent turn of event, it was reported that Ma’aden is collaborating with “financial advisers” like “Michael Klein”, while it continues to restructure the company’s balance sheet and looking ahead for “potential acquisitions”.

Mr Klein is an ex-investment banker for Citigroup. He is currently running his “own boutique advisory firm”. Similarly, HSBC Holdings is advising on its capital market plans, while JP Morgan Chase is helping the mining major to identify potential deal opportunities”, stated

Ma’aden has captured Saudi Arabia’s attention, as the latter counts the former among its “so-called national champions”, while there are plans of boosting its “international competitiveness and profile”. In its international expansion strategy, acquisitions and merger takes the front seat, as told by the former C.E.O.