‘Deal to sell 20% stake in O2C business to Aramco this year’

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 24, 2021

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Saudi Aramco, and Governor PIF, joins Reliance board

Reliance Industries Ltd expects to formalise a deal to sell a 20 per cent stake in its oil to chemicals unit to Saudi Arabia’s State-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco “this year”, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Thursday.

As a precursor to the finalisation of the stake sale, Reliance Industries has inducted Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco and the Governor of the Public Investment Fund, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, as an independent director on its board.

‘Substantial progress’

Despite several challenges due to Covid-19, Reliance and Aramco have made “substantial progress” in the past year in discussions on the deal “in the spirit of mutual commitment to convert our long-standing relationship into a perpetual partnership”, said Ambani at the annual general meeting of the company on Thursday .

Al-Rumayyan’s induction as a board member, Ambani said, is “also the beginning of internationalisation of Reliance”.

During the AGM in August 2019, Ambani announced that Reliance had signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell a minority stake to Aramco for as much as ₹1.03-lakh crore or roughly $15 billion, pegging the enterprise value of the O2C business at $75 billion. As part of the deal, Aramco will supply up to 700 (KBPD) or 5,00,000 barrels per day of crude oil on a long-term basis to Jamnagar refinery.

Saudi Aramco has been eyeing stakes in refining ventures overseas to guarantee new outlets for its crude oil. But, one year later, Ambani said, at the firm’s AGM in July 2020, that the deal with Aramco “has not progressed as per the original deadline”.

Oil-to-chemicals is the most valuable part of RIL’s business, contributing revenue of ₹3,20,008 crore with EBITDA of ₹38,170 crore.

Published on June 24, 2021

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