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Saudi Firms Start Talks to Form $11 Billion Chemicals Maker

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 9/20/2020 Farah Elbahrawy

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Industrial Investment Group and National Petrochemical Co. started talks to merge, potentially creating a firm with $11 billion in assets as Middle Eastern energy companies assess their options in a lower oil-price environment. The shares climbed.

The discussions are at an initial stage and no agreement has been reached, the companies said Sunday. Saudi Industrial owns 50% of National Petrochemical, and they had attempted a merger nine years ago.

National Petrochemical’s shares closed at the highest level since 2014, giving it a market value of about 15 billion riyals ($4 billion). Saudi Industrial ended 5.5% higher in Riyadh.

The possible merger comes as energy companies in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates restructure their operations to cope with a market that’s under strain from lower demand.

Merger plan pushes shares higher © Bloomberg Merger plan pushes shares higher

Last year, Saudi International Petrochemical Co. completed a buyout of Sahara Petrochemical Co. That was followed by Saudi Aramco buying a majority stake in the largest Saudi chemical maker in a deal that was valued at about $70 billion

(Updates with previous merger attempt in second paragraph and closing share prices in third paragraph.)

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