What does not kill you makes you stronger
With the recent terrorist attacks on its key facilities, Saudi Aramco has proven itself as the most successful oil company in the world, not only in terms of financial performance but also in dealing with crises. The world watched with admiration as Aramco resumed normal operations quickly and efficiently.
Aramco’s top brass has been sending clear messages to the international financial and media communities that its initial public offering (IPO) is on schedule. More global banks were added recently to play key roles in the blockbuster IPO, including Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche, UBS, Credit Agricole, GIB and Societe Generale.
Investment banks’ research teams have already started their meetings with Aramco management. They will have a few weeks to prepare their pre-IPO reports on the company, compared to the standard two months normally given for the biggest global listings.
Aramco is speeding up preparations for the IPO with the aim of listing on the Saudi bourse Tadawul before the year-end. For its bankers, the stakes could not be higher: They have spent years wooing the oil giant to be part of the deal, which could make Aramco the world’s biggest listed company if it hits its target market capitalization of $2 trillion. For the international listing, major bourses in the US, the UK, Japan and Singapore have been competing fiercely.
Since the $12 billion international bond offering earlier this year, with full disclosure and transparency to international financial markets, analysts have a head start as they can lean on work done for this offering. The prospectus for that offering lays out Aramco’s financial statements and details on its business, so any information it releases now will build on its previous handy and available disclosures.
Despite the attacks on its facilities, Aramco’s leadership is committed to continuing its legacy. Aramco is, and will continue to be, the most successful oil company in the world and in history. There is no turning back — what does not kill you makes you stronger.
Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.