US based boutique investment bank, Moelis & Co, has been chosen as the sole independent adviser for the planned initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco, according to three people familiar with the process, scoring the New York boutique investment bank the biggest equity advisory mandate to date, Financial Times informed.
According to Reuters, the IPO, which officials expect to value the oil producer at a minimum of $2t, is the centerpiece of a Saudi Arabian government plan to transform the economy by attracting foreign investment and diversifying away from a reliance on oil.
Moelis will be the internal independent adviser, as part of a team preparing for the share offer and conducting regulatory discussions ahead of the roadshows and execution.
Those close to the IPO planning have said the sale of a 5% stake — potentially worth about $100b — should happen in 2018, although the number of shares sold could increase, and the timing could slip.
Moelis’s appointment is a big win for the bank, which itself went public less than three years ago, having been founded by a veteran US dealmaker, Ken Moelis, in 2007.
The bank has an experienced team of advisers based in the Middle East, making its name in the region by advising the Dubai government on the $25b debt restructuring of conglomerate Dubai World in 2011.