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Saudi Aramco to buy petrochemicals giant in $69 billion deal Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Saudi Aramco to buy petrochemicals giant in $69 billion deal

Date of publication: 28 March, 2019

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Saudi state oil and gas giant Aramco has announced it will purchase a majority stake in petrochemicals behemoth SABIC for $69.1 billion.

Saudi state oil and gas giant Aramco has announced purchase of petrochemicals giant SABIC for $69.1 billion, Aramco said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Saudi Aramco today announced the signing of a share purchase agreement to acquire a 70 percent majority stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, in a private transaction for... $69.1 billion," announced the statement.

The agreement to acquire 70 percent majority stake will effectively merge the kingdom's two largest companies.

The merger was first proposed last year when the kingdom embarked on shelving its plans to list Aramco, as investors balked at the $2 trillion valuation.

That initial public offering was designed to raise as much as $100 billion, which would have been injected into the Public Investment Fund (IPF).

The transaction bolsters Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's ambitious plan to reform and diversify Saudi Arabia's oil-dependent economy and pursue his Vision 2030 strategy.

The Saudi giant did not say, however, how it is planning to finance the deal, described by Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih as "historic".

Saudi Arabia had sought to raise billions of dollars through offering Aramco's securities to the public in the hope of diversifying the Saudi economy and create jobs. The plan, however, has suffered a series of delays.

Experts see the acquisition of a majority stake in SABIC as a complex alternative to boost PIF's capitals, but Saudi officials have reiterated that the state-owned enterprises would benefit from the deal.

"This is a win-win-win transaction and a transformational deal for three of Saudi Arabia's most important economic entities," PIF managing director Yasir al-Rumayyan said in the Aramco statement. He continued: "It will unlock significant capital for PIF's continued long-term investment strategy, underpinning sectoral and revenue diversification for Saudi Arabia."

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