Saudi Aramco asks banks for $ 12 billion to $ 14 billion pipeline loan – sources


FILE PHOTO: The Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the Abqaiq oil facility, Saudi Arabia, October 12, 2019. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco has asked banks to set up a loan that is expected to be between $ 12 billion and $ 14 billion that it plans to offer to buyers of its gas pipeline network, sources said, while the oil giant is advancing its intention to raise funds. from the sale of assets.

Aramco could raise at least $ 17 billion from the sale of a significant minority stake in its pipelines, sources told Reuters. Participation would be offered with a financial loan package already in place, worth around 80% of the price.

Banks that funded the $ 12.4 billion acquisition of the company’s pipelines earlier this year received a request for proposals from Aramco last week, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The deal, which included all of Aramco’s existing and future stabilized crude pipelines, was backed by $ 10.5 billion in funding from a large group of banks including Citi, HSBC and JPMorgan.

Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new pipeline financing. He is working with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs on the gas pipeline deal, sources said.

Reuters reported in August that companies that were in talks for Aramco’s gas pipeline assets include Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), Brookfield, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, European gas infrastructure owner and operator SNAM, as well as the Chinese Silk Road, the Chinese state. the backed investment fund CNIC Corp, the South Korean sovereign wealth fund Korean Investment Corp (KIC) and NH Investment & Securities.

Potential buyers are expected to submit bids in late October, one of the sources said.

Earlier this year, Aramco, similar to Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), used a sale-leaseback agreement to sell a 49% stake in the new company Aramco Oil Pipelines Co to the buyer and rights to 25 years of tariff payments for transported oil. its pipes.

It plans to use a similar structure for its gas pipelines.

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