Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco on Saturday released details of what is expected to be the biggest initial public offering in history, giving investors the chance to own a piece of the world's biggest oil producer - and most profitable company.
The oil conglomerate controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a prospectus made public on Saturday that the offering period will begin on Nov. 17 and close on Dec. 4, with the pricing of shares to happen on Dec. 5.
The shares will initially trade on the Saudi stock exchange, called the Tadawul, expected to start in mid-December. While the prospectus did not include specific details of how much of the company will be floated, it did say the company will sell up to 0.5% of shares to individual investors.
Analysts' valuations of the company have varied from $1.2 trillion to $2.3 trillion. In comparison, Aramco's closest U.S. rival, Exxon Mobil, has a market cap of nearly $300 billion and Chevron is valued at about $229 billion.
The Saudi government will face a lockup period of six months on further sales of shares after Aramco's public offering. The IPO is being underwritten by J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, among others.
The public listing of Aramco - officially known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. - is part of the "Saudi Vision 2030," an economic reform plan spearheaded by bin Salman as part of his effort to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil and towards other non-oil sectors.
Saudi Aramco also plans to float additional stock on an international exchange next year, with stock exchanges in New York, London, Hong Kong and elsewhere all vying for the business.