- REUTERS/ Mohamed Al Hwaity
JPMorgan and the boutique bank M. Klein & Co. are advising Saudi Arabia on the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, Bloomberg’s Ruth David, Dinesh Nair, and Matthew Martin report.
M. Klein & Co., headed by the former Citigroup banker Michael Klein, is providing the Saudi government with strategic advice, while JPMorgan may serve as an underwriter, according to the report.
The IPO, if successful, could turn the state-owned oil giant – worth trillions of dollars – into the world’s largest publicly traded company.
The fact that Saudi Arabia was considering selling shares of Aramco came as a surprise to bankers. It was revealed in an Economist interview with Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, in January.
Of course, there’s still a chance the deal will not go through. The Saudi government is still reportedly in early-stage talks, and has not made any final decisions on the deal. Not to mention the fact that oil is hovering around its lowest prices in decades.
But JPMorgan and Klein have secured prized roles on the deal of a lifetime nonetheless.
Klein, who started his firm as a one-man band in 2012, landed a major role on the $130 billion Dow-DuPont deal announced in December.
He spent more than two decades at Citigroup, rising to the role of CEO of global banking and then moving to Europe to take responsibility for a build-out of the bank’s investment-banking business in the region. He left Citigroup in 2008, and was paid north of $25 million to not compete with the firm.
He has since taken a number of roles advising on deals on his own. Headvised Barclays on the acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ assets, and later helped Dubai work through debt issues on the Dubai World project. In 2012, Klein secured a role on the $41 billion Glencore-Xstrata deal.
Now Klein is expanding his firm, with around 20 employees as of January.
JPMorgan was the top-ranked bank for investment-banking revenues in 2015, as well as for debt- and equity-capital markets revenues.