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Al-Sanea and Saad group to challenge asset freeze

Maan Al-Sanea (pictured), the billionaire owner of the Saad Group, plans to dispute the Cayman Island court order that froze $9.2 billion of his assets last week.

A statement by a Saad spokesperson said: "Saad will respond fully to all of these claims through the proper judicial process and definitively demonstrate their lack of any foundation. The claims have been made before a full investigation has taken place and rely on partial and incomplete information."

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands ordered a worldwide freeze of Al-Sanea's assets in response to a complaint filed with the court by Ahmed Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers Company (AHAB), one of Saudi Arabia's oldest family-owned conglomerates. The claim alleges Al-Sanea raised and misappropriated funds through several third-party institutions.

AHAB also filed a lawsuit against Al-Sanea in New York in July accusing him of having "misappropriated approximately $10 billion as a result of his frauds." (Click here to read our coverage of the story)

Both actions taken against Saad by AHAB seem to confirm the suspected links between the two family-owned Saudi companies. There has been much speculation in recent weeks over the nature of the relationship between the two, fuelled by the downward spiral of fortune both are experiencing.

The true extent of the family ties may only become apparent when court proceedings commence and each is forced to disclose the nature of their involvement with the other.

Saudi Arabia will watch closely while the dispute unfolds as the economy is feeling the effects of the instability.

For full analysis of the problems experienced by these two Saudi Arabian family businesses see the next edition of Campden FB. Not a subscriber? Click here subscribe.

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