The board of Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company, is likely to give the final approval to its initial public offering (IPO) next week, which is going to be the world’s largest-ever share sale.
The Saudi Aramco board is expected to meet its advisers on the IPO around 17 October to gauge market conditions and assess feedback from a roadshow that ends this week before giving the final nod, a Bloomberg report said.
The IPO is likely to see sale of about 2% of Saudi Aramco which could raise as much as $40 billion. The company is targeting a valuation of at least $2 trillion, which is more than double that of Apple Inc. News reports had earlier said that Saudi Aramco aims to list on the Saudi bourse as soon as November as the funds raised would be key to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s strategy to fund the diversification of the country’s economy.
The report also mentioned that research teams of investment banks working on the share sale are busy preparing pre-IPO reports on Aramco, and have been given barely three weeks’ time to get them done, compared with the usual six-to-eight weeks timeframe given for such tasks.
A schedule reviewed by Bloomberg showed that each investment bank’s team needs to finish the first draft of their analysis by 9 October, with second draft due on 15 October. The reports have to be finalized and printed by 18 October, after which they will be distributed to fund managers when Aramco announces its plan to float the IPO on 20 October.
However, it is not yet certain that Aramco would move ahead with the listing as no final decision has been made yet. According to the report, Saudi Arabia could still possibly delay or cancel the Aramco IPO.