Saudi Aramco pays $69bn for majority stake in Sabic

World's largest crude producer buys 70 per cent holding in chemicals maker from kingdom's Public Investment Fund

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the headquarters of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 27, 2013. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo
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Saudi Aramco signed an agreement to acquire a 70 per cent majority stake in chemicals maker Sabic from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia for 259.125 billion Saudi riyals (Dh253.77bn).

The share purchase deal works out at 123.39 riyals per share, and means the total value is equivalent to $69.1bn. The remaining 30 per cent publicly traded shares in Sabic are not part of the transaction, and Saudi Aramco has no plans to acquire these remaining shares, the entities said in a joint statement on Wednesday. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

“This is a win-win-win transaction and a transformational deal for three of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic entities," said Yasir Othman Al Rumayyan, managing director of the sovereign wealth fund PIF.

He said the deal will unlock significant capital for PIF’s continued long-term investment strategy, underpinning sectoral and revenue diversification for Saudi Arabia.

"Furthermore, it will introduce a strategic owner that can add considerable value to Sabic and all its shareholders, while capitalising on Sabic’s strong capabilities to unlock the opportunities for growth that Saudi Aramco, a key player in energy markets around the world, can offer.”

Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sabic has global operations in over 50 countries with 34,000 employees. In 2018, its consolidated production volume across its various business units was 75 million tonnes, and it recorded net income of $5.7bn, with annual sales of $45bn, and had total assets of $85bn.

Amin Nasser, president and chief executive of Saudi Aramco, said the move was a major step in accelerating the company's transformative downstream growth strategy of integrated refining and petrochemicals.

"Sabic is a world-class company with an outstanding workforce and chemicals capabilities," he said. "As part of the Saudi Aramco family of companies, together we will create a stronger, more robust business to enhance competitiveness and help meet rising demand for energy and chemicals products needed by our customers around the world."

Aramco said the acquisition is in line with its long-term strategy to drive growth through an enhanced downstream portfolio by increasing global participated refining capacity from 4.9 million to 8 million-to-10 million barrels per day by 2030, of which 2 million to 3 million bpd will be converted into petrochemical products. This downstream portfolio will consume significant quantities of Arabian crude oil, it said.

The company produces approximately one in every eight barrels of the world's oil supply.

"Our global team is dedicated to creating impact in all that we do," it said.  "We focus on making our resources more dependable, more sustainable and more useful. This helps promote stability and long-term growth around the world."

The PIF is tasked with enabling the creation of new sectors and opportunities that will shape the future global economy, while driving the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia. Working alongside its global strategic partners and investment managers, PIF acts as the kingdom’s main investment arm to deliver a strategy focused on achieving attractive financial returns and long-term value for Saudi Arabia, in line with Vision 2030.

The PIF Programme will see the fund’s assets under management increase to over $400bn by 2020. The fund aims to complement private sector development in the kingdom through its new domestic investment, split between the Saudi Holdings, Saudi Sector Development, Saudi Real Estate & Infrastructure Development, and Saudi Giga-Projects.