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Home / Business / Saudi Aramco-Reliance Industries deal likely this year

Saudi Aramco-Reliance Industries deal likely this year

Yasir Othman al-Rumayyan, head of the Saudi oil giant, is joining the board of RIL as an independent director
Aramco chief’s induction to the RIL board is being seen as precursor to a deal with the Saudi oil giant, which is likely to  be completed in 2021

Our Special Correspondent   |   Mumbai   |   Published 25.06.21, 12:58 AM

The much awaited deal between Reliance Industries (RIL) and Saudi Aramco is set to be concluded this year after a delay of more than 14 months.

As a precursor to the proposed transaction, first announced by Mukesh Ambani in 2019, Yasir Othman al-Rumayyan, head of the Saudi oil giant, is joining the board of RIL as an independent director.

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Analysts feel the appointment of al-Rumayyan has come along expected lines. But investors want more clarity on the stake sale in the O2C business including timelines given that nearly two years have passed since Ambani announced the deal.

RIL plans to offload a 20 per cent stake in its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business, which comprises its twin oil refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat and its petrochemical assets, to Aramco for an enterprise value of $75 billion. The deal was to conclude by March 2020 but was delayed by the pandemic.

There was some headway in August last year when Saudi Aramco said it is undertaking a due diligence. There have been reports that the Saudi oil major has proposed a cash and share deal.

Speaking to the shareholders at the 44th annual general meeting, chairman Mukesh Ambani said the proposed transaction is likely to be concluded this year.

“Despite several challenges because of Covid-19, we have made substantial progress in the past in our discussions (with Saudi Aramco)... This continued engagement and resolve from both sides, even during this pandemic, is a testimony of the strong relationship between Saudi Aramco and Reliance.”

“I expect our partnership to be formalised during this year,’’ he added.

However, his statement did not impress the stock markets. The Reliance Industries stock ended with losses of 2.35 per cent at Rs 2,153.35 with sources saying the absence of a specific announcement on the deal and its value disappointed the Street.



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