The Independent’s Saudi investor

More details about Sultan Mohamed Abuljadayel have gradually been emerging since the announcement on 28 July that he had acquired 30 per cent of Independent Digital News and Media, owner of the Independent digital newspaper.  Based on our own research, Abuljadayel is remarkable largely for his lack of public profile – he has no corporate interests under his own name in Saudi Arabia (directorships or shareholdings), has not been mentioned in the Arabic- or English-speaking media before this acquisition, and despite having a well-known family name is unheard of amongst the Saudi sources we spoke to.

Diligencia has however been able to establish that Abuljadayel’s full name (only part of which was recorded in the Companies House filing) is Sultan Mohamed Anwar Asaad Abuljadayel – this is important because it indicates which branch of the Abuljadayel family he belongs to.  Whilst his father Mohamed Anwar is also relatively unknown, his uncle Nazar Anwar is active in Jeddah business circles, holding the principal stake in Masfufah Commercial Holding Company (aka Abuljadayel Beverages) and Abuljadayel for Contracting and Maintenance Company Limited, as well as a directorship in Arabian Seejan for Contracting and Maintenance Company.

Historical company documents accessed by Diligencia also show that Abuljadayel was previously a director of an Egyptian company, HC Securities & Investment Company SAE, a position held on behalf of a Bahrain-based private equity fund Oryx Regional Private Equity Fund Company BSCC.  The fact that this fund is owned by Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank seems to corroborate recent reports in The Guardian that he is an employee of NCB Capital (also known as Alahli Capital Company).  We can also confirm that Abuljadayel’s date of birth is 15/05/1975 which tallies with the Companies House filing which lists him as aged 42.

Although we now know a little more about The Independent’s benefactor, there is much that remains unclear – not least his source of wealth, his motives for the investment and the website’s plans for the investment.