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The mega deal in which Saudi Aramco is buying 70 percent in Saudi chemicals giant Sabic cleared another hurdle on Friday after India’s competition authority approved the transaction that needs clearance in India because both Saudi companies are operating in the country.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said on Friday that it approves the acquisition of 70 percent in Sabic by Saudi Aramco from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia.
In India, Saudi Aramco is mainly active in the supply of crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), base oil, and petrochemical products, while SABIC is mainly active in the supply of agri-nutrient and petrochemical products.
The acquisition of a majority stake in Sabic was one of the officially stated reasons from Saudi Arabia to put on hold the listing plans for Aramco, as the Saudi oil giant focused on acquiring the 70-percent stake in Sabic.
In March this year, Aramco signed the deal to buy 70 percent in Sabic for the equivalent of US$69.1 billion in Saudi riyals at the time.
With one of the biggest acquisitions in the chemicals sector clearing another hurdle, Saudi Aramco can now focus on its initial public offering (IPO), which seems to have been accelerated in recent weeks, regardless of the many unknowns about the actual timing, the international listing venue, or the US$2 trillion valuation for the company the Saudis are after.
Amid reports that Saudi Arabia has moved to speed up the listing of Aramco and amid conflicting reports about the impact of the attacks on Saudi oil on what would be the world’s largest IPO ever, one of the latest reports coming out of the Kingdom is that Aramco is set to announce as soon as next month its intention to proceed with the initial public offering.
Aramco will officially announce its intention to sell shares on the stock market at some point around October 20, people familiar with the planning told Bloomberg on Wednesday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.