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Indian Billionaire Discusses Buying Stake In Saudi Aramco
Indian conglomerate Adani Group is exploring potential partnerships in Saudi Arabia

Gautam Adani, the second richest Asian, is reportedly looking to stitch a partnership with Saudi Aramco. It is months after rival Reliance Industries led by Mukesh Ambani scrapped a mega-deal in the oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business.

Adani Group has held talks with Saudi Arabia, discussing the idea of buying a stake in the Saudi oil giant from the Public Investment Fund. Although the Indian group is not expected to pay cash for such an investment. But rather have the deal structured as an asset swap or a broader partnership, Bloomberg’s sources said.

Saudi Aramco shares surge 10% on debut - The Hindu

Image: The Hindu

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, who has made his fortune in coal, ports, and green energy, is the 11th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

While Adani is unlikely to shell out billions of dollars in cash for Aramco stock, at least in the short term. It could seek to link investment to a broader tie-up or asset swap deal, the people said. The Indian firm could team up with Aramco or subsidiaries like Sabic in areas such as renewable energy, crop nutrients, or chemicals, one of the people said.

Adani may also offer the PIF, which is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the opportunity to invest in infrastructure in India, another person said. Deliberations are at an early stage, and Adani hasn’t made a decision on which form any potential cooperation could take, the people said.

The Partnerships

Adani is the second richest person in India after Mukesh Ambani. The chairman of the biggest Indian private conglomerate, Reliance Industries.

It was Reliance Industries that had negotiated a major deal with Saudi Aramco for two years before announcing last November. It was scrapping what would have been a $15-billion agreement. Two and a half years ago, in August 2019, Saudi Aramco and Reliance Industries signed a non-binding letter of intent. Under which Aramco was set to buy 20 percent in the oil to chemicals division of Reliance Industries. At an enterprise value of $75 billion for the entire division, the stake that Aramco would have bought would have been worth around $15 billion.

Now Adani and Saudi Arabia are reportedly in early talks about potential partnerships. Adani could offer the Saudi sovereign wealth fund to invest in infrastructure in India, one of Bloomberg’s sources said. While all sources stressed that all talks are at an early stage

A deal could help Aramco deepen relationships in one of the world’s fastest-growing energy consumers. The Saudi petroleum giant spent more than two years negotiating a potential $15 billion investment in the oil-to-chemicals unit of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., only for talks to be scrapped in November. Aramco said at the time it would continue to look at investing in India.

A representative for Adani Group didn’t offer any immediate comment. Spokespeople for Aramco and the PIF declined to comment.

 

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