Aramco signs $12.4 billion pipeline deal with EIG-led consortium



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows branded oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi oil giant Aramco (SE:) on Friday entered into a $12.4 billion deal with a consortium investors led by EIG Global Energy Partners that would give the investor group a 49% stake in Aramco’s pipeline assets, the two companies said.

This is the first major deal by Aramco since its listing in late 2019 when the Saudi government sold a minority stake in the firm for $29.4 billion in the world’s biggest initial public offering.

The EIG-led group signed a lease and lease-back agreement with Aramco, acquiring the equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Co, a newly formed entity with rights to 25-years of tariff payments for oil transported through Aramco’s pipeline network, it said in a statement. Aramco will own 51% in the new company.

“The transaction represents a continuation of Aramco’s strategy to unlock the potential of its asset base and maximize value for its shareholders,” Aramco said in a separate statement.

The pipeline deal is similar to infrastructure deals signed over the last two years by Abu Dhabi’s National Oil Co (ADNOC), which raised billions of dollars through sale-and- leaseback deals of its oil and gas pipeline assets.

Aramco stake is preparing a so-called “staple financing” for its bidders – a financing package provided by the seller that buyers can use to back their purchase, sources have told Reuters previously.

Aramco said last month it was betting on an Asian-led rebound in energy demand this year after it reported a steep slide in net profit for 2020 on Sunday and scaled back its spending plans.

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