Goldman Sachs has managed to put itself in contention for a role in Saudi Aramco's IPO, according to the Financial Times.
The US investment bank flew out a team of senior executives including partner Dina Powell, a veteran of the administration of US president Donald Trump, to pitch for the deal, the sources said.
Aramco's planned IPO, which could potentially raise $100bn, is the centerpiece of Saudi Arabia's economic transformation drive to attract foreign investment and diversify away from oil.Goldman had failed to secure a top role in the public offering in 2017 when Saudi Aramco nominated banks including JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Moelis, Evercore and HSBC to advise them on what could be the world's largest listing.
The initial public offering was postponed following an inability to achieve the $2trn valuation for the state energy giant sought by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, but banks are now preparing their pitches for a flotation.
Aramco, the world's top oil producer, plans to issue its first international bonds, likely worth about $10bn, in the second quarter of 2019, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said last month.
Powell — who was born in Egypt and speaks Arabic — boasts regional knowledge and relationships that have made her a critical player in negotiations. She used those assets to organize Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017, his first foreign trip as president.
Saudi Aramco also came under scrutiny after Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by Saudi agents in 2018.