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The Adani Group of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani has held early talks with Saudi Arabia about potential cooperation and joint projects, including buying a stake in Saudi Aramco from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the development.
Adani Group has held talks with Saudi Arabia, discussing the idea of buying a stake in the Saudi oil giant from the Public Investment Fund, although the Indian group is not expected to pay cash for such an investment, but rather have the deal structured as an asset swap or a broader partnership, Bloomberg’s sources said.
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, who has made his fortune in coal, ports, and green energy, is the 11th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Adani is the second richest person in India after Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of the biggest Indian private conglomerate, Reliance Industries.
It was Reliance Industries that had negotiated a major deal with Saudi Aramco for two years before announcing last November that it was scrapping what would have been a $15-billion agreement. Two and a half years ago, in August 2019, Saudi Aramco and Reliance Industries signed a non-binding letter of intent, under which Aramco was set to buy 20 percent in the oil to chemicals division of Reliance Industries. At an enterprise value of $75 billion for the entire division, the stake that Aramco would have bought would have been worth around $15 billion.
Now Adani and Saudi Arabia are reportedly in early talks about potential partnerships. Adani could offer the Saudi sovereign wealth fund to invest in infrastructure in India, one of Bloomberg’s sources said, while all sources stressed that all talks are at an early stage.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has been seeking to partner more with India, which is the third-largest oil importer globally and whose oil demand is expected to jump in the coming years.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com