The accumulated debts of the now-liquidated construction firm Saudi Oger have been estimated at more than SAR40bn, according to the executive court in Riyadh.
While SAR22bn is owed to suppliers, SAR2.6bn is owed to employees in outstanding dues such as delayed salaries and allowances, end-of-service awards and other entitlements, local daily Saudi Gazette quoted unnamed court sources as saying.
The amount of money in the court’s custody amounted to SAR83.7m while the company’s bank account balance stood at SAR171,000.
The sources said the company also owed the government SAR38bn.
More than 6,000 people as well as banks and companies have reportedly approached the court seeking their dues from the company.
Under the settlement proposed by the country during the liquidation two years ago, each creditor would be paid 1 per cent of his or her outstanding dues.
The struggling construction firm – owned by the family of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri – ended operations in July 2017 after 39 years in the business.
The company was hit hard by the slowdown in the kingdom’s construction sector and delays in government payments, and was forced to lay off thousands of workers – many of whom were not paid wages – and sell off many of its assets.
The labour ministry said at the time that the firm employed 1,200 Saudis among a total of around 8,000 workers.
Last year it was reported that Saudi Arabia was setting up a committee to handle the restructuring of debt owed by Saudi Oger.
The committee will include representatives from the labour ministry and justice ministry, and will deal with debt owed to staff, service debt and payments owed to the government as a priority, sources told Reuters.