DUBAI/SINGAPORE Feb 9 State oil giant Saudi
Aramco has appointed international law firm White
& Case as legal adviser for its planned initial public offering
(IPO), expected to be the world's biggest, sources familiar with
the matter told Reuters.
The IPO, which Saudi officials have predicted will value
Aramco at a minimum of $2 trillion, is expected to take place in
2018, with the government selling up to 5 percent of the
Aramco declined to comment and White & Case did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
White & Case has a long-established relationship with
Aramco, having advised on several of its projects in recent
years. The most recent of these was a joint venture agreement
with Indonesian state oil company Pertamina for a $5
billion refinery upgrade.
Previous mandates include an advisory role on the
structuring, tendering, development and financing of Aramco's
$2.1 billion industrial gas complex in Jazan province and
advisory services for financing the $20 billion Sadara chemical
complex developed in a joint venture with Dow
The law firm is advising the company on "all of Aramco's
fundraising activities", one of the sources said, speaking on
condition of anonymity because the information was not public.
Aramco is also working on a debut Islamic bond and plans to
issue debt internationally at a later stage.
The company has appointed New York-based boutique investment
bank Moelis as internal independent adviser in preparation for
the IPO, sources told Reuters this week.
Aramco is also expected to decide as early as next week on
the appointment of local and international banks to perform
preparatory work for the IPO. Banks would be chosen as lead
managers and bookrunners for the share offer at a later stage.
(Editing by Andrew Torchia and David Goodman)