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Saudi Aramco May Merge Trading Units Ahead Of IPO

Ahead of potential IPO plans for its trading arm, Saudi Aramco is eyeing a merger between Aramco Trading Co and Motiva Trading, Reuters reported Thursday.

Citing two unnamed sources “familiar with the matter”, Reuters reported that the merger and restructuring of the two trading arms could take place by the end of this year.

Motiva Trading is the trading arm of Motiva Enterprises, which owns the largest refinery in the United States, in Port Arthur, Texas. The refinery has a production capacity of 630,000 barrels per day.

In May 2017, Shell withdrew from Motiva Enterprises LLC for a $2.2-billion payment, including debt, from Saudi Aramco. That deal gave Saudi Aramco’s Saudi Refining unit full ownership of the Port Arthur refinery and the Motiva Enterprises name.

After booking $40 billion in profits on soaring oil prices, in mid-May, Saudi Arabia announced that it would take Aramco Trading public as the IPO trend among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) oil companies gains further momentum.

In May, Saudi Aramco regained its position as the most valuable listed company in the world, overtaking Apple. As of May 12th, Saudi Aramco was worth around $2.43 trillion, topping Apple’s worth at the time of $2.37 trillion, based on Refinitiv data.

Market analysts indicated earlier this quarter that Aramco Trading could hit $30 billion as the Saudis take advantage of high crude oil prices. Analysts speculate that Aramco would seek to sell around 30% of the trading arm. A $30-billion price tag would make this one of the biggest IPOs of the year.

A month ago, the UAE’s state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) also announced it was taking its downstream giant public. Petrochemicals company Borouge, a joint venture between ADNOC and Austria’s Borealis, will sell a 10% stake (or 3 billion shares) in an initial public offering, with no price range revealed. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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