Saudi Aramco is seeking advisers to arrange debt financing needed for the acquisition of a stake in Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), banking sources said. The Saudi oil giant could borrow as much as $50 billion from international investors to fund the acquisition.
A request for proposals was sent out on Wednesday and banks are expected to submit proposals for the financing by Monday next.
The world’s top oil producer plans to issue its first international bonds in the second quarter of 2019, likely worth about $10 billion, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih had said this month. The bond issuance could help finance the Sabic acquisition.
Aramco is looking for advisers for both an international bond issue and bank financing. The debt is needed to back the purchase of all, or nearly all, of the 70 per cent stake in Sabic held by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s top sovereign wealth fund.
That implies a deal value of roughly $70 billion. Aramco is working with JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley on the stake purchase.
The two banks, along with others, were working on the planned stock market listing of Aramco before the move was put on hold. Aramco’s new planned listing date is 2021, Saudi officials have said.