Saudi Aramco has picked Lazard Ltd. and Moelis & Co. to advise on the oil giant’s second attempt at the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO), people with knowledge of the matter said.
The boutique investment banks have started preparatory work on the offering, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. They are expected to play a key role in the listing, including in the selection of underwriters and listing venues as well as working to ensure Aramco can secure its valuation expectations, the people said.
The selection is a boon particularly for Lazard, which wasn’t one of the advisers on Aramco’s first listing attempt. The oil producer was originally working with Evercore Inc. and Moelis, as well as HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley.
Lazard’s success working on the blockbuster Aramco bond sale this year put it in pole position to secure a role on the IPO.
Lazard was pushing hard in recent weeks to win a spot on the planned share sale, sending some of its top global dealmakers from London, Paris and Houston to woo Aramco officials at meetings in the Middle East, Bloomberg News reported earlier this week. The firm, run by Ken Jacobs, is likely to replace one of the original advisers that previously worked on the listing plans, people with knowledge of the matter have said.
Moelis was up 1.4 percent at 9:51am in New York trading on Tuesday after earlier gaining as much as 4.1 percent. Lazard shares fell 0.7 percent and are up about 2.3 percent this week after Bloomberg reported on Monday that it was likely to win a role on the IPO.
$100 Billion Deal
Aramco, which is planning a stock-market listing as early as in 2020, is still planning to add more banks to the deal, the people said. No final decisions have been made, and the…