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Saudi Aramco ‘could float by end of year’
Posted on Monday, 09 September 2019 11:52
The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, better known as Saudi Aramco, may list domestically before the end of 2019 and is in the process of hiring advisors, sources in the know told Reuters.

According to these people, lead roles are likely to be given to JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and National Commercial Bank, while Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Samba Financial Bank are also probable candidates.

They added that the first phase of the planned initial public offering could take place locally before the end of the year.

This comment seems to be borne out by others made by Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who said the state hopes to float the business as soon as possible.

Of those cited by Reuters, two people noted that advisors are expected to be appointed within the next few days.

None of the parties involved have commented on the report.

An IPO of Saudi Aramco has been on the cards for some time, having first been reported in January 2016, when deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Economist a sale of stock in the company was being reviewed, with a listing among the options being mulled over.

However, the flotation was suspended in August 2018 as the firm was in the process of acquiring Saudi Basic Industries Corporation.

Under the terms of that transaction, which was officially announced in March of this year, the buyer will pay SAR 259.13 billion for a 70.0 per cent share of the business.

Completion of the acquisition remains subject to regulatory approvals, among other conditions.

Previous reports have suggested that the 5.0 per cent share of Saudi Aramco which is likely to be floated can be valued at as much as USD 150.00 billion.

This would make the listing the largest on record for any company, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

To date, the most valuable flotation is Philip Morris International’s USD 113.00 billion quotation on the New York Stock Exchange, which took place in March 2008.

© Zephus Ltd