Oct 18, 2019

Saudi Aramco reportedly delays IPO launch again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Saudi Arabia is postponing plans to float shares in state oil giant Aramco, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Why it matters: Plans to offer a small slice of Aramco are aimed at raising buckets of money to fund the kingdom's economic diversification, but the effort has been beset by delays.

"The delay is likely to again raise questions about whether Aramco and the Saudi government are serious about listing the kingdom’s prized asset and opening up the oil firm to scrutiny from global investors."
The Wall Street Journal

Where it stands: Per Bloomberg, officials are no longer planning an Oct. 20 launch of the IPO process that would have been followed by a listing on the kingdom's domestic exchange by late November.

  • "Now, a listing is unlikely before December or perhaps January," they report. The WSJ's sources offered the same timeline for plans to list up to 3% of the company.
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is aiming for a $2 trillion valuation, but that's well above analysts' estimates.

Flashback ... to 2017: Saudi Aramco's cloudy IPO

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Saudi Arabia approves IPO of oil giant Aramco

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a September meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Saudi Arabia has approved the long-anticipated initial public offering of state-owned oil giant Aramco, the kingdom's market regulator announced in a statement Sunday.

Why it matters: This could be the biggest IPO ever. Aramco is responsible for about 10% of the world’s oil production, per Bloomberg, which notes it "generated the most profit of any corporation last year with net income of $111 billion — more than Apple Inc., Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp. combined."

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Reports: Saudi crown prince approves Aramco IPO

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman al Saud. Photo: Alexei Nikolsky / Contributor

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday gave the green light for the initial public offering of state-owned oil giant Aramco, per reports in Bloomberg and Reuters.

Why it matters: Offering a small slice of the company is designed to raise tens of billions of dollars to fund the kingdom's economic diversification efforts. But the plan to list up to 5% of Aramco has been beset with delays since the crown prince first made the announcement in 2016.

Go deeperArrowNov 1, 2019

New Aramco IPO prospectus touts strengths amid investor questions

Oil tanks at an oil processing facility of Saudi Aramco. Photo: Stanislav Krasilnikov / Contributor/Getty Images

Saudi Aramco on Saturday published the prospectus for its plans to float a small slice of the world's largest oil-producing company on the kingdom's domestic exchange.

Why it matters: This brings Aramco closer to the long-planned, long-delayed public debut, which could be the largest IPO ever. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman envisions raising tens of billions of dollars to fund Saudi's economic diversification efforts.

Go deeperArrowNov 9, 2019