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Saudi Arabia plans to sell shares of Aramco, co-owner of the Gdańsk Refinery, in June 2024

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Saudi Aramco, which acquired a 30 percent stake in the Lotos refinery, plans to issue its shares on the stock exchange in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports. The sale of shares worth $10 billion is at stake. This is to be the largest transaction of this type in the region.

Saudi Arabiawhich controls Saudi Aramco – an energy giant, intends to sell multi-billion shares of this company – the Reutres agency reported, citing anonymous informants.

Big sale of Saudi Aramco shares

According to information provided by Reuters, the issue of Sadu Aramco shares is to start in June this year. The offering could raise about $10 billion. “Preparations are still underway, so the assumptions may change,” the agency reports. This will be one of the largest stock exchange transactions in this region. The shares will be listed in Riyad and it will be a fully commercial offer.

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The government and Aramco communications office did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on an economic transformation known as Vision 2030, which puts an expanded private sector and independence from oil at the center of its future development. The Saudi government is Aramco's largest shareholder, owning 90 percent. shares.

Merger of Orlen with Lotos

Global fuel giant Saudi Aramco has owned 1/3 of the Gdańsk Refinery since November 2022. The sale of part of the shares in the Lotos refinery in Gdańsk was one of the conditions of the European Commission for takeover of Lotos by Orlen. The Saudis paid PLN 1 billion 150 million for them.

IN under remedial measureswhich required connection, Saudi Aramco bought 30 percent. shares in the Lotos refinery, and the Hungarian MOL took over over 410 Lotos gas stations. In July 2023 Supreme Chamber of Control prepared a report regarding, among others, merger of Orlen with Lotos after inspection by the Ministry of State Assets. According to the Supreme Audit Office, Saudi Aramco paid at least PLN 5 billion less for the Lotos part than it was worth..

We know from Orlen's stock exchange reports that the Płock concern sold 30 percent. shares in the Gdańsk refinery for PLN 1 billion 150 million. In the report, NIK auditors presented their own estimate of how much these shares were worth – in their opinion, as much as PLN 4 billion 600 million.

Moreover, Saudi Aramco bought not only the refinery at a lower price. According to NIK auditors, the entire transaction package – 30 percent. shares in the refinery, the entire company dealing in wholesale fuel sales and 50 percent shares in a company producing aviation fuels – were worth PLN 9 billion 400 million. Orlen sold them for just over PLN 2 billion and 200 million.

Orlen's contract with Saudi Aramco was controversial. Journalists of the “Black and white” program on TVN24 reached the draft agreement with a global fuel giant. It was supposed to mean that after the merger of Orlen and Lotos, Poland may lose control over the refinery.

Main photo source: mat. press releases

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