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Saudi Prince Alwaleed eyes Kingdom Holding spinoff, up to $3B in investments

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Saudi Prince Alwaleed eyes Kingdom Holding spinoff, up to $3B in investments

Kingdom Holding Co. Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is seeking up to $3 billion in investments for his investment firm and mulling a real estate investment trust spinoff, following his release from detention in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton, Bloomberg News reported, citing Alwaleed's interview with Bloomberg Television.

Alwaleed is working with advisers, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., to raise $1 billion to $2 billion in debt, which may draw local or international investments of $1 billion to $3 billion.

"Right now we are in discussions with certain companies in the U.S. for certain deals. Although the market right now in the U.S. is, I'd not say overvalued, but prices are not where we would wish them to be," Alwaleed said in his first interview since being released from a nearly three-month detention.

The prince, who has a 95% stake in Kingdom Holding, also said he will likely spin off his company's domestic property and other holdings. Kingdom's domestic holdings are worth about half of its $13 billion of total assets, and include the one-kilometer-high Jeddah Tower under construction in Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg News reported.

"It will take some time as we are still developing that matter. ... Our CEO [Talal Ibrahim Al Maiman] is thinking in these terms," said Alwaleed, while also reassuring partners that his business empire remains intact and fully functioning. Since his detention on Nov. 4, 2017, Kingdom Holding shares have fallen about 12%, giving it a market capitalization of about $9 billion.

"I assure them that everything is normal and we are functioning as we were before, and we welcome them to come here to see what we're doing in Saudi Arabia and life is back to normal," the prince said.

Alwaleed did not provide the terms of his release, but said he signed a document that left him free to function with "zero guilt" and "zero conditions." Kingdom Holding's investments include stakes in Citigroup Inc., Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Twitter Inc.

In January, Saudi Arabia's attorney general said the kingdom raked in more than $100 billion in settlement deals from the anti-corruption probe, with payments spanning various types of assets.