Largest IPO in history could be launched by the end of November
Saudi Aramco could publish its prospectus before the end of this month, ahead of its multi-billion dollar initial public offering (IPO), according to the Wall Street Journal.
The prospectus, which will be used to market the shares of the Saudi oil giant, will be published in Arabic on October 25 and in English two days later.
It added that a final decision on whether to go ahead with the IPO will be made after a book-building process in November, during which the company will test interest in its shares.
The response of investors will help determine the final offer price of the shares and whether the current sole shareholder - Saudi Arabia - decides to move forward with a listing of 1 percent to 2 percent of the company domestically.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman caused something of a shock in 2016 when he first announced the plan for an IPO and estimated the oil giant’s valuation at $2 trillion - almost twice the size of Microsoft, the world’s most valuable listed company.
The original plan was to sell 5 percent of the company on international and domestic markets. That would have valued the IPO at something between $50 billion and $100bn - far outstripping the world record $25bn raised by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in New York in 2014.
But the proposal has been scaled back, with plans now to sell around 2 percent only on the domestic exchange in Riyadh followed by another chunk later, according to people familiar with the matter. A 2 percent stake sale would, however, represent a world record IPO at the crown prince’s $2trn valuation.
According to the report in the Wall Street Journal, if the domestic listing is confirmed, Aramco’s shares are expected to trade on the Tadawul exchange by late November or early December.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.