The public listing would have made Aramco into the world’s most valuable company — more than twice as big as Apple, at $2.5 trillion.
“The government remains committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco at a time of its own choosing when conditions are optimum,” said Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Energy Minister and chairman of Saudi Aramco, in a statement.
“This timing will depend on multiple factors, including favorable market conditions, and a downstream acquisition which the company will pursue in the next few months,” he continued.
But the Aramco IPO has long been marred by in-house squabbling, from which exchange would be chosen for the flotation, to what the company’s initial valuation should have been.
Cancellation or postponement of the deal is a substantial blow to the three banks involved: HSBC, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley, which would have reaped almost a billion dollars in fees from what some referred to as the deal of the century. The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that financial advisers associated with the deal “have all redirected resources to other projects.”
“The IPO has not been officially called off, but the likelihood of it not happening at all is greater than it being on,” a senior oil industry official told Reuters on Wednesday.
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