SAUDI ARABIA: Sabic creates new venture capital arm

Sabic Ventures aims to build up a portfolio of technology options for the company's future businesses. It will do this by investing directly both in seed stage, early stage and late stage companies. The new organization will both lead investment, co-lead and invest alongside venture capitalists.

Mohamed Al-Mady, Sabic vice chairman and CEO, said that Sabic Ventures has been developed as an investment vehicle to accomplish profitable growth. "Sabic aspires to be the preferred leader in chemicals. We will accomplish this through organic growth by investing in new assets and expanding current assets; mergers and acquisitions in targeted areas; and new business creation. Venturing provides growth opportunities for new businesses."

Sabic Ventures will be funded by an Innovation Fund, which will be managed by the organization. The fund will cover investments in start-up companies. Among the areas which have been designated for investments are advanced materials and composites; alternative feedstocks for chemicals and materials; and alternative energy and clean technology. At the same time, the organization will be constantly exploring new areas of interest.

The targeted countries for sourcing venturing investments are the United States, Europe and Asia. "The organization will have a global reach. We are building a global organization with deal flow and investment management support from all over the world," Al-Mady said.

Source: Daily "Arab News", Riyadh; 2 Nov 2011

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)