Politics

Saudi Aramco plans to significantly reduce payments for Sabic Deal

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Saudi Aramco is in early talks about further staggering payments for the acquisition of a controlling stake in local petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. as the collapse in oil prices puts pressure on its finances. Report informs citing the Bloomberg.

State-owned Aramco is weighing pushing out payments for the 70% holding in the petrochemicals maker and reducing the size of the initial installment to the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, known as Public Investment Fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The oil giant is also weighing whether it’s possible to reduce the $69.1 billion price tag on the deal, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The talks are in their early stages, and it’s unclear whether an agreement will be achieved, the people said.

The company is seeking to preserve cash as it confronts a historic rout in crude prices and a burgeoning list of spending obligations. It reaffirmed a commitment to pay $75 billion in dividends this year, while in March pledged to cut capital expenditure to save cash.

Aramco and the PIF have already restructured the deal. In accordance with the terms of the agreement from October, Aramco is set to pay a third of the contract in cash, down from half previously. The deadline for paying the rest was extended by four years until September 2025. The initial pact involved Aramco paying 123.4 riyals ($32.85) a share for Sabic, whose share price has slumped to 71.7 riyals since that was agreed in March 2019.

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