Goldman Sachs contends for role in Aramco IPO

Goldman Sachs is contending for a role in the initial public offering of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in what could be the world’s largest ever listing, with a potential worth of $100 billion. The US investment bank flew out a team of senior executives to pitch for the deal, the Financial Times reported. Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the matter. Saudi Arabia’s planned IPO of Aramco plays a key role in the country’s drive for economic transformation to attract foreign investment and diversify away from oil. Goldman Sachs made a bid to be involved in the listing back in 2017 but failed when the Gulf state nominated banks including JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Moelis, Evercore, and HSBC to advise them. The IPO was postponed after the firm failed to achieve the $2 trillion valuation sought by crown prince Mohamed bin Salman amidst market volatility and a rebounding oil price. The original group of advisors was then disbanded. After the launch of a $12 billion international bond by Aramco, momentum for the IPO was renewed, and optimism revived about the Saudi economy following international condemnation after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Yet again, banks are lining up with their pitches for flotation. Moelis has once again been selected to advise on the IPO by the oil company, alongside financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard, it has been reported. Bermuda-headquartered Lazard advised the oil giant on its bond, and has recently been tasked with assessing Aramco’s debt raising capabilities, sources close to the company said. Although Saudi officials have maintained that Aramco’s IPO is a priority for the country, some have privately warned that global economic weakness could lead to further delays. ©2019 funds global mena

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