New York (AFP)
The Saudi oil giant Aramco will postpone the official launch of its IPO, scheduled for October 20, told AFP Thursday a source close to the case on condition of anonymity.
This decision is likely to postpone to December or January, instead of November, the first listing of Aramco shares on a trading platform, the source said.
In mid-September, sources close to the case had already told AFP that the Saudi authorities were studying the possibility of postponing the operation after the attack on oil facilities in the country has reduced the world supply of black gold brutally.
The Aramco IPO is expected to value the company between $ 1.5 trillion and $ 2 trillion and is considered the largest in history.
It is the cornerstone of a reform program initiated by the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, nicknamed MBS, to get the Saudi economy out of its heavy dependence on oil.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Aramco has planned an IPO in two stages: on the local market, Tadawul, with a placement of 2% of the capital, less than half of the 5% to be sold in total. The company hopes to raise some $ 40 billion.
This transaction was scheduled to take place at the end of November, preceded by a presentation tour of the company to investors (roadshow).
Aramco also plans a second listing on an international financial center that remains to be determined. The New York and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges are in the ranks.
One of the thorny issues, however, is the valuation of the company: the bankers who are responsible for leading the IPO of the behemoth of the world energy lean for a valuation around 1.500 billion, according to several sources close to the case, where MBS wants $ 2 trillion.
A first IPO attempt in late 2018 had been halted precisely because MBS was not satisfied with the valuation proposed, in full fall of crude prices.
? 2019 AFP