DUBAI, July 18 (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco IPO-ARAM.SE has invited banks to pitch for an advisory role on the potential acquisition of a strategic stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Slated for an initial public offering, state oil giant Aramco, which is expanding in refining and petrochemicals, made the invitation last month, said the sources, declining to be identified due to commercial sensitivities.
Riyadh-listed SABIC, the world’s number-four chemical firm, is 70 percent owned by the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s top sovereign wealth fund. It has a market capitalisation of 385.2 billion Saudi riyals ($102.7 billion).
The process is in the initial stages and Aramco may or may not decide to go ahead with the deal, the sources said.
Aramco and SABIC did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. ($1 = 3.7503 riyals) (Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Rania El Gamal; Editing by Jan Harvey and Dale Hudson)