Saudi Aramco has received clearance from the European Commission for its proposed acquisition of 70 percent stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF), media reports said.
PIF is the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with total estimated assets of $320 billion. It is the largest sovereign fund in the world. The proposed acquisition has received unconditional clearance in all jurisdictions where pre-notification antitrust filings are required, the oil giant said in a statement.
However, the statement said, “The closing of the proposed transaction is subject to the remaining customary closing conditions contained in the Share Purchase Agreement.” Previously, Aramco had received regulatory approval to develop the Kingdom’s Jafurah gas field. The Jafurah gas field is estimated to have 200 trillion cubic feet of raw gas.
Last month it was reported that the Kingdom is planning to sell more stakes in Aramco to further drive economic diversification. Last year, it raised nearly $30 billion from Aramco’s IPO.
The oil giant is already in talks with Wall Street banks for a second listing abroad, media reports said. Some of the banks involved in Aramco’s IPO last year are part of the current discussions. However, it is unlikely for Aramco’s overseas listing to take place this year on the back of current market conditions.
According to media reports, the government is not allowed to sell more Aramco shares over the next 12 months since the first deal’s completion, under the terms of a lock-up agreement.