Saudi Aramco Seeks Up to $1.7 Trillion Valuation in IPO, Undershooting the Crown Prince’s Target
Saudi Arabia put a preliminary valuation on its state-owned oil giant Aramco of between $1.6 trillion and $1.71 trillion, short of the $2 trillion target set by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016.
Aramco is seeking as much as $25.6 billion by selling a 1.5% stake. The company would raise $24 billion if the deal prices at the lower end—just shy of the $25 billion raised by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.—currently the world’s largest IPO. With one third of the deal reserved for Saudi retail investors, Aramco will rely heavily on the local market.
Saudi Arabia has been pulling out all the stops to ensure the IPO—key to the crown prince’s plans to diversify the economy—is a success. It’s cut the tax rate for Aramco and is promising a hefty dividend. The kingdom has also negotiated commitments from its wealthiest families to invest in the offering as many international money managers seem ready to pass.
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