Saudi Armco to team up with India’s Reliance to form oil conglomerate
The world’s biggest crude producer will soon own a part of the world’s biggest oil refinery, reports Bloomberg. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-12/reliance-to-sell-20-of-refining-to-saudis-at-75-billion-value)
Saudi Armco will buy a 20-per-cent stake in the oils-to-chemicals business of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., including the 1.24 million barrels-a-day Jamnagar refining complex on the country’s west coast, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani said at the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai.
Reliance Industries shares surged as much as 12 per cent as a result of the deal. (https://www.livemint.com/market/stock-market-news/reliance-industries-ril-shares-surge-on-aramco-deal-market-value-jumps-over-rs-50-000-crore-in-minutes-1565665957257.html)
In announcing it, Ambani said at the company’s 42nd AGM, “We have a very clear roadmap to becoming a zero net debt company within the next 18 months that is by 31st March 2021.”
The tie-up comes as Reliance, which is run by Ambani who is widely considered Asia’s richest man, bolsters its consumer-focused units such as retail and telecoms to match the strength of its dominant oil and gas business. The sprawling conglomerate bought British toy retailer Hamleys earlier this year. (https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/reliance-industries-set-to-bring-tiffany-stores-to-india)
It also recently teamed up with Tiffany and Co. to launch the American-bred store in India, with new stores to open in Delhi and Mumbai. (https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/fashion-/-cosmetics-/-jewellery/reliance-to-launch-iconic-jewelry-brand-tiffany-co-in-india/articleshow/70254628.cms?from=mdr)
The Armco-Reliance deal, designed to reduce the company’s massive debt load, brought immense relief to investors.
“What caught our eye, though, was its target to cut headline net debt to zero by March 2021 implicitly acknowledging investor concerns on its balance sheet,” said analysts from Jefferies India Pvt Ltd in a report on 12 August. (https://www.livemint.com/market/mark-to-market/as-reliance-industries-sheds-debt-equity-valuations-soar-1565669071112.html)
Photo of Mukesh Ambani