Brookfield, BlackRock pull out of race for Aramco pipeline stake worth over $10b

The Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the company's oil facility in Saudi Arabia, REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

US asset manager BlackRock and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc are no longer in the race to buy a stake in Saudi oil giant Aramco‘s pipeline business, two sources familiar with the deal said.

Apollo Global Management and New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) are among the bidders still in the race for the deal, which could fetch Aramco over $10 billion, they said.

China Investment Corp, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, was also weighing a bid for the assets, a third source told Reuters.

Aramco, Apollo and Brookfield declined to comment. CIC declined to comment, while GIP did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Bloomberg earlier reported the news about BlackRock and Brookfield Asset being no longer in the race.

Aramco, which is looking to sell as much as 49% 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.

The planned pipeline deal would be 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, sources have previously said.

Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, reported last month its net profit fell 44.4% to 183.8 billion riyals ($49.01 billion) for the year ended Dec. 31 as the COVID-19 pandemic depressed global crude demand.

However, it maintained its pledge to declare a $75 billion dividend for 2020, most of which goes to the Saudi government.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.