Saudi Aramco IPO Postponed: Press
The initial public offering (IPO) of the world's biggest and most profitable state oil company Saudi Aramco has again been postponed, sources have told UK Financial Times published October 18. However, there was no doubt that it would go ahead, just a question of when.
The kingdom's heir apparent, Mohammed bin Salman, wants to use the proceeds to overhaul the national economy, in particular disconnect its fortunes from the oil price. He is looking for a valuation of $2 trillion, which is far in excess of the consensus view of large foreign investors.
Saudi Aramco had been expected to release its prospectus next week, ahead of a 3% listing in November. While the September 14 attacks on Aramco's facilities appear to have caused no lasting damage, there are doubts about the kingdom's ability to protect its energy assets, the FT said.
When questioned on the impact the attack might have on the IPO, CEO Amin Nasser told the Oil & Money conference in London October 9 that Aramco had the highest free cash flow of any company in the world, with lifting costs of $3/barrel, and said its key performance indicators also covered safety, reliability and carbon intensity. And he said dozens of independent auditors had spent 18 months coming up with the same figure its own reservoir engineers had found: 260bn barrels." When our shareholder decides, we will be ready," he said.
He said there was no doubt that Iran was responsible for the attack, and that the company beat the target for carrying out most of the essential work on the repairs by about a week to bring output back to pre-attack levels. It will take a little longer though – until the end of November – to return it to full capacity of 12mn barrels/day, he said.