Saudi Arabia govt in talks to acquire Saudi Oger
Saudi Oger has been hit hard by a slowdown in the Saudi construction sector due to low oil prices and state spending cuts
The government of Saudi Arabia is discussing a proposal to acquire construction giant Saudi Oger, owned by the family of former Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri.
Oger has been hit hard by a slowdown in the Saudi construction sector due to low oil prices and state spending cuts, and wage payments to thousands of its workers have been delayed for months, according to Saudi media and the workers themselves.
A Lebanese newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that talks between Hariri and the Saudi government were in their final stages.
“The agreement, expected to be reached within 10 days, would centre on the government or businessmen from the ruling family taking ownership of the company," the newspaper said. It added that the buyer would take over all debts and financial obligations of Saudi Oger.
The newspaper said Hariri was negotiating to keep a stake in the company, proposing to keep 40% in exchange for giving up some shares in a bank.
More than 30,000 Saudi Oger workers have filed official complaints with the Labour Office over alleged non-payment of wages two days back.
The 31,000 Saudi and foreign workers claimed their salaries have been delayed for several months, Arab News had reported.
The workers cannot leave the country as the ministry has put a lock on construction giant group’s foreign recruitment and social security insurance services.
The company has terminated the contracts of Saudi engineers and foreign workers in all of its branches in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, Jazan, Hail and the Eastern Province without settling their dues, according to the source.
A number of Saudi Oger engineers have not been received salaries for the past nine months, leaving some in deep debts and unable to provide for their families.