Saudi Binladin Group
Found in: Companies of Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Binladin (or Binladen) Group (SBG) is a multinational construction conglomerate and holding company for the assets owned by the bin Laden family, headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The SBG was founded in 1950. Sheikh Mohammed bin Laden, whose relationship with the country's founder, Abdel Aziz al Saud, led to important government contracts such as refurbishing the shrines at Mecca and Medina. Mohammed, who overall had 22 wives and 52 children is also the father of Osama Bin Laden.
After the death of Sheikh Mohammed in 1968, the group was headed by Mohammed Bahareth, brother of Mohammed's first wife and uncle of his oldest children. In 1972, Sheikh Salem bin Laden, the eldest son, took over as his father's successor, with the assistance of several brothers. Upon Salem's death in a plane crash in 1988, the leadership of the group passed to one of his elder sons, Bakr, the current chairman, along with thirteen other brothers who make up the board of the bin Laden group, the most important of these being Hassan, Yeslam and Yehia. By 2002, the company had 35,000 employees worldwide, and was worth US$5 billion. The company boasts a secure room that is free from listening devices from intelligence agencies.
The bin Laden group is represented in most Saudi cities — Riyadh, Damman — and in a number of capital cities in the region . According to a synopsis by the PBS news program Frontline:
in Egypt the SBG is headed by Abdul Aziz bin Laden, and represents that country's largest foreign-owned private equity group, with over 40,000 employees.
in Lebanon the SBG, represented by Yehia bin Laden, has been (before the July War) holding negotiations with the local authorities for a $50 million share in the project to rebuild the Beirut Central District within the framework of the Solidere Project and in conjunction with the al Baraka Group and the bin Mahfouz Group.
Internationally the Group's operations are handled by the Geneva, Switzerland-based Saudi Investment Company (SICO), headed by Yeslam bin Ladin. The group also set up a representative firm in London, Binexport, in November 1990.
On December 20, 2005, the government of Saudi Arabia awarded a consortium of Saudi and Emirati companies, including the Saudi Binladin Group, a $26.6 billion contract to build King Abdullah Economic City.
The registration for SBG's Internet domain name, saudi-binladin-group.com, was registered on September 11, 2000, for one year, expiring on the same day as the September 11, 2001 attacks. The domain was later acquired by a domain speculator. SBG currently uses sbg.com.sa, which was registered on 2000-01-11.
Links with Newcastle United F.C
On July 6th 2008, the British newspaper The Daily Mail reported that the organisation were in a 300 million pound bid for Newcastle United F.C. However, Newcastle United has dismissed the news as "utter nonsense".
* Archived versions of www.saudi-binladin-group.com at the Internet Archive
Bin Laden Group at Sourcewatch