Aramco on Wednesday successfully completed its share acquisition of a 70% stake in SABIC from the Public Investment Fund (PIF); the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. This for a total purchase price of SR259.125bn ($69.1bn), equating to SR123.39 price per share.
It also enhances Aramco’s presence in the global petrochemicals industry; a sector expected to record the fastest growth in oil demand in the years ahead. Combined, in 2019 Aramco and SABIC recorded petrochemicals production volume of nearly 90 million ton, including agri-nutrient and specialty products.
The acquisition of the SABIC stake is consistent with Aramco’s long-term downstream strategy; to grow its integrated refining and petrochemicals capacity as well as create value from integration across the hydrocarbon chain.
Major global petrochemicals players
It specifically enhances Aramco’s chemicals strategy by transforming it into one of the major global petrochemicals players; integrating upstream production with SABIC feedstock; expanding capabilities in procurement, supply chain, manufacturing, marketing and sales; complementing geographic presence, projects and partners; and increasing the resilience of cash flow generation with synergistic opportunities.
SABIC expects also to benefit from Aramco’s downstream chemicals feedstock production, and ability to invest in and execute major growth projects at a very large scale.
Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan, PIF Governor, described the deal as a significant milestone for three of Saudi Arabia’s most important entities. “It provides capital for PIF’s long-term investment strategy as it drives the economic transformation and growth of Saudi Arabia, further benefiting the people of our country; it supports Aramco’s continued growth in downstream and enhances its international footprint; and, it provides SABIC a new strategic energy industry focused shareholder with the ability to support growth projects,” he said.
Selective integration synergies
Amin Nasser, Aramco President & CEO, said the transaction is a significant leap forward. “It accelerates Aramco’s downstream strategy and transforms our company into one of the major global petrochemicals players. The strategic integration of our upstream production and downstream chemicals feedstock production with SABIC’s chemicals platform is expected to create opportunities for selective integration synergies that support growth and add value for shareholders,” he also said.
Yousef A. Al-Benyan, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, also said SABIC’s relationship with PIF and Aramco goes back to its inception in 1976. “The global scale and presence of SABIC, one of the world’s most significant diversified chemicals companies, brings significant enhancements to Aramco.
As the chemicals growth platform, SABIC expects to benefit from the additional scale, technology, investment potential, and growth opportunities Aramco will bring in integrated energy and chemicals production. We also look forward to contributing to global chemicals growth, while continuing to support Saudi Vision 2030,” he added.
As the new majority shareholder of SABIC, Aramco has the ability to elect the majority of SABIC directors. The SABIC board will ensure strategic alignment, and oversee further creation of value for SABIC and all of its shareholders as SABIC becomes an important member of the Aramco group.