LONDON: Saudi Aramco has won EU antitrust approval for its $69 billion purchase of a 70 percent stake in SABIC.
It means that the Saudi oil company has overcome the last big regulatory hurdle in the mega deal that will see ownership of the majority stake transferred from the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).
“With this, the proposed acquisition has now received unconditional clearance in all jurisdictions in which pre-notification antitrust filings are required,” Saudi Aramco said in a statement on Sunday. “The closing of the proposed transaction is subject to the remaining customary closing conditions contained in the Share Purchase Agreement.”
Saudi Aramco’s planned purchase of the region’s biggest petrochemical company comes as it targets downstream investments in a move away from relying on crude oil sales. The company is also investing heavily in natural gas, the feedstock for most of the petrochemicals that SABIC manufactures in the Kingdom.
Last month Saudi Arabia revealed plans for a $110 billion project to develop a gas field in eastern Saudi Arabia.
The Jafurah field — which lies southeast of Ghawar, the world’s largest conventional oil field — holds an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of wet gas, and is capable of producing 130,000 barrels per day of ethane and 500,000 barrels per day of gas liquids and condensates.
Over 22 years, Jafurah could generate $8.6 billion a year in income and contribute $20 billion a year to the Kingdom’s GDP.