Saudi Aramco in $12.4bn deal to sell 49 pc stake in pipelines to US consortium

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RIYADH: Saudi oil producer Aramco has agreed a $12.4 billion deal to sell a 49 per cent stake in its pipelines to a consortium led by US-based EIG Global Energy Partners.

Announced late on Friday, it is the company’s largest deal since its record $29.4 billion IPO in late 2019.

The lease and leaseback agreement includes a 49 per cent stake of newly formed Aramco Oil Pipelines and rights to 25 years of tariff payments for oil carried on Aramco’s pipelines, it said in a statement.

Aramco will retain a 51 per cent stake in the new company.

EIG, which has invested more than $34 billion in energy and energy infrastructure, was the deal’s underwriter and will work with Aramco in the coming days to decide on other parties for the consortium, a source familiar with the deal told Reuters.

Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala is in discussions on being part of it, a spokesman said.

Operational control

Aramco will retain operational control of the pipeline network and assume all operating and capital expense risk, the companies said. The deal will have no impact on Aramco’s oil production.

Aramco will also offer so-called “staple financing” which the buyers can use to back their purchase, sources have told Reuters.

“We will continue to explore opportunities that underpin our strategy of long-term value creation,” CEO Amin Nasser said.

Other bidders in the deal process included Apollo Global Management and New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).