By Marwa Rashad, Rania El Gamal and Hadeel Al Sayegh
RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil producer, has agreed to buy a majority stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund for around $70 billion, sources familiar with the matter said.
The deal comes after months of talks between Aramco and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), contributing to the delay of Aramco’s planned multi-billion dollar initial public offering.
Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya said Aramco will buy PIF’s 70 percent stake in SABIC for $69.1 billion.
That figure represents a slight discount from the current market value of the stake, which is around $69.5 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
SABIC declined to comment. PIF and Aramco did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Aramco’s move to buy the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm is aimed at expanding its downstream business.
Aramco plans to boost investments in refining and petrochemicals to secure new markets and sees growth in chemicals as central to its downstream strategy to cut the risk of an oil demand slowdown.
(Writing by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Jan Harvey and Kirsten Donovan)