Aramco Seeking Pitches for Listing Coordinator Roles

Aramco Seeking Pitches for Listing Coordinator Roles
Aramco Seeking Pitches for Listing Coordinator Roles

Saudi Arabian Oil Company is asking banks to pitch for roles as coordinators and book-runners on its initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said, as the state-owned crude producer pushes ahead with plans for the world’s biggest share sale.

The company sent out the request for proposals to banks over the past few days and aims to appoint a group of lenders by early next year, said the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Saudi Aramco, as it is known, has not told banks where it plans to list the shares, the people were quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to sell as much as 5% of Aramco as part of a plan by Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the Saudi king's favorite son, to set up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and reduce the economy’s reliance on hydrocarbons. The sale could be the largest ever, based on the government’s $2 trillion valuation of the company.

"Aramco is still waiting for a decision on how many shares will be offered to the public and where it will list outside of the kingdom," Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said last month.

Saudi officials in October reassured investors at a business conference in Riyadh that plans for the Aramco offering were still on track to take place next year, dispelling reports that the process was delayed.

People familiar with the situation had said earlier that month that Saudi Arabia was wondering whether to delay the international portion of the offering until 2019.

If the company manages to achieve a valuation that matches the expectations of MBS, the sale would raise about $100 billion, eclipsing the record $25 billion Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raised in its IPO in 2014.

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