Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. is considering selling as much as 25 percent of its refinery business in a deal that could fetch at least $10 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Reliance is sounding out potential investors including state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Aramco) to gauge the interest, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Aramco has also been considering investing in a new Indian refinery that Reliance is planning to build, the people said.
Discussions are at an early stage, and valuation could be a hurdle to any agreement on a stake sale, the people said. Aramco has been weighing various deals that would increase its exposure to Reliance’s refining operations, though it hasn’t made a decision on what form any eventual investment would take, the people said.
“Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis,” Reliance said in an emailed statement.
Middle Eastern oil giants like Aramco have been expanding into downstream operations as they seek to move from being pure producers to becoming mo-re integrated energy companies.