Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Boutique Bank Moelis Wins Advisory Role of Mammoth Saudi Aramco IPO | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Oil tanks seen at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during a media tour at Damam city November 11, 2007. REUTERS/ Ali Jarekji/File Photo

Khobar – New York-based boutique investment bank Moelis & Co (MC.N) has been chosen as an adviser by Saudi Aramco on its plans for what is expected to be the world’s biggest initial public share offer (IPO).

Moelis will be the internal independent advisor, as part of a team preparing for the share offer and conducting regulatory discussions ahead of the roadshows and execution, according to Reuters and Bloomberg.

A decision is expected by early next week on appointing international and local banks for preparatory work, reported Reuters.

Moelis’s appointment is a big win for the bank, which itself went public less than three years ago, having been founded by veteran U.S. dealmaker Ken Moelis in 2007.

The bank has an experienced team of advisers based in the Middle East, making its name in the region by advising the Dubai government on the $25 billion debt restructuring of Dubai World in 2011.

Economist Dr. Mohammad Rammadi told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Choosing Moelis might hugely contribute in inching Aramco from issuing its shares in New York stock.” He added, “Moelis has a wide experience in the U.S. market and this triggers high probability of Aramco shares being issued in New York.”

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said last week the company was evaluating concurrent listings on more than one exchange.

The IPO, which Saudi officials expect to value the oil producer at a minimum of $2 trillion, is the centerpiece of Saudi Vision 2030 plan to transform the economy by attracting foreign investment and diversifying away from a reliance on oil.