EU to clear $69 billion Aramco-SABIC unconditional deal

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco is set to gain unconditional European Union antitrust approval for its $69.1 billion proposed deal with petrochemicals behemoth Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), Reuters News Agency reported on Friday.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters news agency that Aramco, under the terms of the deal will buy a 70 per cent stake in SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest petrochemicals group for $69.1 billion.

The deal, announced in March last year to acquire the controlling stake from the sovereign investor Public Investment Fund (PIF) in one of the biggest deals in the global chemical industry.

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The move is key to its diversification into refining and petrochemicals.

Buying a majority stake in SABIC gives the crown prince’s ambitious reform programme a massive cash boost.

SABIC, Saudi Arabia’s largest publicly listed non-oil company, is said to have a market capitalisation of around $100 billion — the same amount the kingdom had sought to raise from Aramco’s IPO.

Saudi Arabia had sought to raise billions of dollars through a historic Aramco public offer to diversify the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter, but the plan has suffered a series of delays.

Indian and several other countries’ competition watchdogs have already given the green light to this win-win-win transaction and a transformational deal without demanding concessions.

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