It’s been a difficult year for Saudi Binladin Group’s (SBG) chairman, Bakr Bin Laden. The top name in Construction Week’s 2015 Power 100 has slipped six places due to a series of unfortunate events that began in September 2015, when a crane collapsed onto Makkah’s Masjid Al-Haram. SBG was found to be “part responsible” for the accident, and Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court suspended SBG from taking on new contracts.
In Q2 2016, it emerged that the firm had been struggling to pay its 150,000-plus regional workforce, a situation that culminated in the termination of between 69,000 and 77,000 contracts of employment.
After moving to restructure its portfolio, it was reported that sanctions on SBG could be lifted. In turn, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) announced that work at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport – a $7.2bn (SAR27bn) contract for SBG – had recommenced.
Bin Laden’s contracting giant is down but not out, it seems.