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Saudi Binladin Group Denies Takeover by Government

  • VOA News

FILE - The logo of of the Saudi Binladin Group is seen at the company's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 20, 2001.

A Saudi Arabian construction giant says it "remains a private sector company," but admits that "some of the shareholders may have agreed to a settlement," allowing for the transfer of some shares to the government "against outstanding debts."

The Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) said in a statement that it sees the move as a "positive step."

SBG Chairman Bakr Bin Laden has been detained in Saudi Arabia's crackdown on corruption. Dozens of princes and other elite businessmen were swept up in the arrests late last year ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi officials say they are negotiating with the detainees to collect as much as $100 billion for state coffers.

SBG was established in 1931 by Mohammed Binladin. The company grew quickly after the Kingdom contracted the firm in the 1950s to work on mosques in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In 1964, SBG was commissioned to do the re-cladding on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

In recent years, however, SBG has encountered some difficulties and has laid off thousands of employees.

SBG belongs to the family of the former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, killed in Pakistan in 2011 by U.S. special forces.