Apollo Global Management, a leading alternative asset management firm is looking to buy a roughly $10 billion stake in Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco’s oil pipeline unit.
The consortium of the buyout group, which will include the US and Chinese investors, has been chosen to make a final bid. The pool of bidders has been narrowed by Aramco, and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and US-based BlackRock are no longer interested.
According to sources, although the Apollo consortium is currently seen as the frontrunner, another bidder could still win.
In the coming weeks, Aramco can choose a winner, though it may decide not to sell its share.
Requests for comment were not responded to as Apollo, Aramco, BlackRock, and Brookfield representatives all declined to comment.
According to the reports, if an agreement is reached, it could be one of the year’s biggest infrastructure deals and one of Apollo’s biggest ever.
The possible sale is part of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to open up to foreign investors even further and use the money to diversify the economy. Infrastructure funds around the world are flush with cash and looking for assets with stable returns.
Abu Dhabi’s state energy company, ADNOC sold a $10.1 billion interest in natural gas pipelines to a consortium of six investors, including Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Brookfield, last year.
Aramco’s advisors include American investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Moelis & Co., a Wall Street investment bank that was also involved in the Abu Dhabi deal.