Canada might already be over-piped: Eric Nuttall
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and KKR & Co. are among top infrastructure investors weighing bids for a stake in Saudi Aramco’s oil pipelines, people familiar with the matter said.
Apollo Global Management Inc. and China’s state-backed Silk Road Fund Co. have also been studying whether to make offers, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The stake sale could fetch Aramco around US$10 billion, the people said.
The world’s top oil producer has asked for expressions of interest and aims to receive non-binding offers next month, according to the people. Aramco’s advisers are also gauging interest from other potential bidders including sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp., the people said. Some bidders may team up given the size of the transaction, they said.
Aramco has been seeking to raise funds by selling stakes in non-core assets, mirroring a strategy adopted by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. An investor group including Brookfield and GIC Pte invested US$10.1 billion in Adnoc’s natural-gas pipelines last year.
While large Canadian pension funds often pursue such assets, some may shy away from the Aramco deal given political tensions between their government and Saudi Arabia, according to the people. Deliberations are at an early stage, and details of the potential transaction could change, the people said.
Representatives for Apollo, Aramco, Brookfield, CIC and KKR declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Silk Road Fund didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Aramco is lining up a loan of about US$7.5 billion that will be offered to potential investors in the oil pipelines, people familiar with the matter said last week. The oil producer is seeking new sources of capital to maintain annual dividend payments of US$75 billion at a time of lower crude prices. Most of those payouts go to the Saudi state, which needs the money to fund its budget.