Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) has shortlisted banks including Citigroup and Morgan Stanley for potential roles on an initial public offering of its specialty chemicals unit, people familiar with the matter said.
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Specialty chemicals generate about $2bn of revenue each year for Riyadh-based SABIC, which is controlled by the kingdom’s state energy firm, Saudi Aramco.
Spokespeople for SABIC and Citi declined to comment. A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Though SABIC hasn’t decided on a venue for the sale, Saudi Arabia wants to deepen its stock market by getting more local companies to list. Aramco carried out the world’s biggest IPO on Riyadh’s Tadawul exchange in December 2019.
Any deal would help bolster SABIC’s balance sheet. It said in May it would suspend new capital expenditure following the coronavirus-triggered slump in demand for its products.
Reuters reported Monday that SABIC had hired NCB Capital to work on the unit’s IPO and was finalising appointments of foreign banks, citing unidentified people.
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