Exclusive: Aramco to win unconditional EU clearance for $69 billion SABIC deal - sources

Exclusive: Aramco to win unconditional EU clearance for $69 billion SABIC deal - sources

Reuters  | Feb 21, 2020 17:32

Exclusive: Aramco to win unconditional EU clearance for $69 billion SABIC deal - sources

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - World No. 1 oil producer Saudi Aramco (SE:2222) is set to gain unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $69 billion buy of a 70% stake in petrochemicals group Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) (SE:2010), people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Aramco announced the deal to acquire the controlling stake from sovereign investor Public Investment Fund (PIF) in March last year, a move key to its diversification into refining and petrochemicals.

Riyadh-headquartered SABIC, the world's fourth largest petrochemicals group, has operations in over 50 countries.

The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the case by Feb. 27, declined to comment.

Competition watchdogs in India and a number of other countries have already given the green light without demanding concessions.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee in a Saudi Aramco branded helmet

Aramco's downstream expansion strategy tracks rivals such as Exxon Mobil (N:XOM), BP (L:BP), Total (PA:TOTF) and Shell (L:RDSa), which have over the years transformed themselves from merely oil companies to energy companies with extensive upstream and downstream operations.

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