Aramco buys 70% of SABIC for $69.1 billion

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Image Credit: Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco announced Sunday it will sell a 1.5% stake in the company.

Dubai: Saudi Aramco purchased 2.1 billion shares, or 70 per cent, of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) for 259 billion riyals ($69.1 billion) in four special transactions on Sunday, Al Arabiya reported.

As previously announced, the price per share was 123 riyals ($32.8).

“The deal completion is on-track with expectations to be finalized before the end of the second quarter. All necessary pre-closing regulatory clearances have been obtained. We will make a completion announcement in due course,” Saudi Aramco told Al Arabiya English in a statement.

The oil giant signed a deal last year with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), to take the majority shareholding in the petrochemicals company.

The payment for SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest petrochemicals firm, will be funded in part by four bonds issued by Aramco to the PIF, reports indicated late last year.

PIF gets fund injection

The deal could inject billions of dollars into the PIF, giving it the firepower to proceed with its plans to create jobs and diversify the largest Arab economy beyond oil exports, including a mega business zone in the northwest of the country.

Aramco has been increasing its investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets for its crude, as it sees growth in chemicals as central to its downstream expansion strategy.

Aramco indicated that 36 per cent of the purchase price – which could be adjusted for certain expenses – will be paid in cash, while 64 per cent will be paid in the form of a seller loan. Therefore, the proceeds to the PIF in the form of cash will amount to $500 million, and the five additional bonds will be worth $2.5 billion.

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