Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has proposed to acquire a 30 percent stake in Riyadh-based travel firm Almosafer — a subsidiary of Seera Group — for $412 million.
As part of the pact, Seera’s destination management company — Discover Saudi and its Hajj and Umrah travel operator — Mawasim will fall under Almosafer.
The Seera Group, in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange where it is listed, stated that the capital infusion would be used to scale its inbound, outbound, religious and domestic tourism operations.
The company said this would help to strengthen its credentials as a “national champion of travel and tourism services in Saudi Arabia.”
Almosafer recorded the best quarter in its history for consumer travel bookings for the quarter ending June 30, 2022 exceeding pre-pandemic levels in June 2019 by 27 percent.
The travel company reported a 89 percent growth in gross booking value to $346 million in the second quarter, up from $240 million in the second quarter of 2021. Almosafer’s consumer travel unit achieved its highest ever quarterly gross booking value registering an increase of 175 percent compared to the same period last year.
The company had mentioned in its earnings that Almosafer’s consumer travel segment is on track to achieve $1 billion gross booking value by the end of 2022.
The Public Investment Fund plays a pivotal role in realizing Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation program, as it strategises to diversify the national economy and reduce the reliance on oil.
As it seeks to diversify is portfolio, the Public Investment Fund, which manages around $620 billion in assets, had earlier invested $464 million in Google’s parent company Alphabet, around $474 million in Microsoft, $507 million in Zoom and $373 million in Booking Holdings.
Last month, the sovereign wealth fund along with the London-based Cain International announced an investment of $900 million in the Swiss hospitality brand — Aman Group.