Reliance’s stake sale talks with Aramco may have resumed after COVID-induced pause

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

Reliance Industries Ltd and Saudi Aramco are resuming talks over a 20% stake sale by the Indian conglomerate in its oil-to-chemical business after a brief pause due to COVID-19 pandemic, ET Now reported on Monday, citing sources.

Both the companies were committed to the deal and Aramco wants to do physical inspection of Reliance’s assets in India, the report said.

The deal, estimated to be about $15 billion as of August last year, had stalled over price, Reuters reported earlier this year.

Reliance’s shares have been on a tear in 2020, rising more than 35% this year, as it raised billions of dollars from global investors for its digital and retail arms.

“India offers tremendous growth opportunities over the long term and Aramco continues to evaluate new business opportunities with our potential partners,” Saudi Aramco said in an e-mailed statement.

Reliance did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reliance Chairman and Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani told shareholders in July that the deal had been delayed due to “unforeseen circumstances in the energy market and the COVID-19 situation.”

The oil-to-telecoms company in October reported a 15% drop in September-quarter profit as the coronavirus crisis hammered its mainstay energy business, although it reaped double-digit revenue growth at its Jio telecom service.

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.