Saudi Arabia is in talks with SA’s major arms manufacturers and is considering taking an equity stake in the struggling state-owned defence firm Denel, the head of the Saudi state defence company told Reuters. Saudi Arabian Military Industries’ (SAMI) CEO Andreas Schwer said he expected to conclude the first partnership deals with South African companies by the end of the year, though he would not identify those initial partners. SA’s department of public enterprises, which oversees Denel, acknowledged the talks with SAMI but said it was too early to give details of any potential partnership arrangement. The Paramount Group, a privately held South African company, has already said it is in talks with SAMI. “To make it clear, we are in discussions with all major South African companies, not only Paramount, not only Denel,” Schwer said in a phone interview on Wednesday. SA’s defence industry once played a major role in the country’s economy, but more recently it has suffered from the ...

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