Evercore Said to Win Advisory Role on Record Aramco IPO

  • U.S. bank mandated to advise on IPO alongside Moelis
  • Aramco also in the process of hiring underwriting banks

Evercore Partners Inc., the U.S. bank founded by Roger Altman, won a role to advise on the planned initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., according to people familiar with the matter, getting a coveted spot on what may be the largest-ever listing.

Evercore will work alongside rival Moelis & Co. as a financial adviser, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public yet. Aramco, as the state-owned oil giant is known, is also in the process of appointing investment banks to underwrite the IPO, they said.

Evercore’s Chief Executive Officer Ralph Schlosstein was personally involved in the discussions and will work on the deal, one of the people said. The firm and New York-based Moelis will help the oil giant pick underwriting banks, make decisions on potential listing venues and ensure the IPO goes smoothly. A role on the listing is a sought-after trophy for bankers, expected to generate millions of dollars in fees and commissions.

A spokesman for Evercore declined to comment. An Aramco representative said the company doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation.

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the listing could value Aramco at more than $2 trillion, which may raise about $100 billion from the sale. Evercore is planning to open an office in Dubai as it seeks new business in the Middle East, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Evercore joins JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a boutique advisory firm run by former Citigroup Inc. banker Michael Klein, which were appointed last year, people familiar with the matter said in April.

Aramco is deliberating whether to list in cities including New York, London and Hong Kong to gain access to greater liquidity and a large pool of investors. Companies in the Middle East and Africa raised $2.3 billion through IPOs last year, compared with more than $20 billion in the U.S. and $7.7 billion in the U.K., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

— With assistance by Sonali Basak, and Matthew Martin

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