Adani Group in preliminary talks with Aramco: Report

Gautam Adani

Mumbai: Adani Group is exploring potential partnerships in Saudi Arabia, including the possibility of buying a stake in the world’s largest oil exporter, said a news agency, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The group, led by Gautam Adani, has held preliminary talks on a range of potential cooperation and joint investment opportunities with Saudi Aramco and the country’s Public Investment Fund. It has discussed the idea of buying part of the PIF’s stake in Aramco, the report said.

While Adani is unlikely to shell out billions of dollars in cash for Aramco stock, at least in the short term, it could seek to link an investment to a broader tie-up or asset swap deal. The firm could team up with Aramco or subsidiaries like Sabic in areas such as renewable energy, crop nutrients or chemicals, one of the people cited by the agency, said.

Adani may also offer the PIF, which is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the opportunity to invest in infrastructure in India, another person said in the report. Deliberations are at an early stage, and Adani hasn’t made a decision on which form any potential cooperation could take.

A deal could help Aramco deepen relationships in one of the world’s fastest-growing energy consumers. The Saudi petroleum giant spent more than two years negotiating a potential $15 billion investment in the oil-to-chemicals unit of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries only for talks to be scrapped in November. Aramco said at the time it would continue to look at investing in India.

A representative for Adani Group didn’t offer any immediate comment. Spokespeople for Aramco and the PIF declined to comment.