Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has received approval from the European Commission to acquire 70% of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) for $69 billion, the Saudi stock exchange Tadawul said.
The shares bought from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) will provide cash to the PIF and help Aramco to expand its downstream operations, reported S&P Global news.
"We are no longer the oil and gas sector," Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman told an Aramco meeting in Dharhan last week.
“Power, chemicals, petrochemicals, crude oil, refining are all considered the energy sector and this is why Aramco will be owner of the government shares in SABIC soon,” he said.
The deal has now received all necessary clearance, in accordance with antitrust rules, and can be finalised, said the statement.
Aramco has said it is looking to grow via investments in the US and China. It recently marked ground-breaking for its petrochemicals joint venture project with ExxonMobil in the US Gulf Coast.
According to S&P, the SABIC acquisition will see Aramco entering new markets, while also diversifying from a predominantly upstream company to a more integrated entity, as well as potentially boost profits by increasing production of value-added downstream products.
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