Saudi Aramco is looking to sell up to a 2.5% stake in the company worth almost $50 billion through a secondary listing on domestic and international exchanges, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
As oil prices continue to scale seven-year highs, nearing the $100 a barrel mark, Aramco’s potential sale is likely to be the largest ever global capital markets offering.
The Saudi Arabian state-controlled giant is currently valued at close to $2 trillion.
Aramco declined to comment to an Upstream query on the potential offering.
Executives at Aramco have held discussions internally and with outside advisers about selling additional shares on the Riyadh stock exchange and a secondary listing, possibly in London, Singapore or other venues, the news report claimed, citing unnamed sources.
The stake-sale effort is still in the planning stage, and could still be delayed or changed, it added.
Crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman is said to be pushing the secondary share sale of the company and aiming to complete the deal by year-end.
After a series of delays in which Aramco was forced to scale back its ambitions, the company raised more than $25.6 billion in its initial public offering in 2019, surpassing the $25 billion raised by China’s Alibaba when it debuted on Wall Street in 2014.
The initial listing of Aramco took place on the Tadawul or the Saudi stock exchange.
After initial ambitions to raise $100 billion from the sale of 5% of its stock on an international exchange in 2019, Saudi Arabia succeeded in selling 1.5% of the company through a listing largely dependent on local investors and state funds in the Persian Gulf region.
Saudi Aramco is embarking on several capacity expansion projects that include its —Zuluf, Berri and Marjan offshore oilfields which are likely to together involve billions of dollars worth of investments.
While the ongoing plans are targeted at raising the kingdom’s oil production capacity to 13 million barrels per day, up from the existing 12 million bpd capacity, it has previously indicated that it could even aim for a higher capacity in the future.