Company snapshot: Shoaibi Group

Date established 1971

Main business area Oil & gas

Main business regions GCC, Middle East and North Africa

Chairman Suhayl Abdul Mohsen al-Shoaibi

Shoaibi Group in numbers

$80m: Paid-up capital 

35: Number of subsidiaries

$500m: Revenues in 2009

Source: Shoaibi Group

Shoaibi structure

The Shoaibi Group was incorporated in 1971 by Suhayl Abdul Mohsen al-Shoaibi and initially its activities were focused on the Saudi Arabian construction sector. The company’s main mission was to support the kingdom’s Eastern Province economic expansion and the major infrastructure projects that came with the oil and gas boom.

Since then, the group has diversified its operations into sectors such as oil and gas contracting, technology and services provision, information and communication technologies, and power and water. This has been achieved through joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.

Headquartered in Al-Khobar, in the Eastern Province, Shoaibi Group’s founder, Suhayl al-Shoaibi, remains as chairman and owns 40 per cent of the company’s stock. His three sons, Walid, Khalid and Faisal al-Shoaibi each own 20 per cent. The firm has a paid-up capital of $80m.

Shoaibi Group comprises several wholly owned subsidiaries, international subsidiaries, joint ventures and associated companies. Most members of the group operate in the oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors through joint ventures, agency agreements, corporate investments, or research and development (R&D)investments.

The group has about 100 direct employees, of which 30 are Saudi nationals. A further 500 employees are employed across the group’s local subsidiaries, but this figure excludes the joint venture companies in which Shoaibi Group has a minority interest.

Shoaibi operations

Shoaibi Group’s core sectors are the upstream and downstream oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. The company has several partnerships with major foreign companies across contracting, technology, services and manufacturing sectors, including France’s Technip and the US’ J Ray McDermott. The firm also has interests in construction, telecoms, and power and water sectors. 

The group usually takes a substantial but minority stake in foreign companies, then aids the entry and development of the joint venture into the Saudi Arabian market. Support services provided by Shoaibi Group usually include marketing, technical sales, business development, legal, financial, government relations, logistics and IT.

As well as the firm’s headquarters in Saudi Arabia, Shoaibi Group has regional offices in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE. Through the group’s joint venture partners, the company also has seven facilities with one currently in construction and one wholly owned. All the facilities have associated sales offices and warehouses. With joint venture partners the group sites total 30 across the region.

Consolidated revenue for the group in 2009 was about $500m, representing a growth in excess of 500 per cent over the past five years. As a private company, the group does not disclose its profits, but has said that it ‘trades profitably and continues to invest aggressively in developing its business’.

Recent successes for Shoaibi Group include a $155m contract awarded by Algeria’s state-owned oil company Sonatrach in 2009 for the supply of oilfield technology equipment. In 2010, partners Technip and J Ray McDermott were respectively awarded two Jubail Export Refinery packages and the Safaniyah field project by Saudi Aramco.

Shoaibi Group ambitions

The group has grown from an operating base of 10 businesses in 2005 to 35 in 2010 and the company continues to expand; a further five new joint ventures are currently being finalised. A lab testing facility will also open by the end of 2010 and the company will soon set up an office in Houston in the US, to be closer to many of its overseas partners in the hydrocarbons sector.

The core family holding company of Shoaibi Group is expected to remain a wholly owned family business for at least 15 to 20 years. However, the group says it holds a number of assets that it identifies as potential divestment or candidates for initial public offerings (IPO).

On the acquisition side, the company says it is ‘constantly reviewing potential additions to its portfolio of companies’, whether within the kingdom alone or with joint venture partners.

The group also plans to invest in new technologies for the upstream oil and gas industry, as well as providing more engineering and support services to the downstream construction and maintenance markets.