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Saudi wealth fund 'to buy' stake in venture from Aramco, Jacobs

Saudi Aramco news
A Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco) logo sits on an electronic display at the company's corporate pavilion during the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a 40% stake in a joint venture between state energy producer Aramco and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., according to three people familiar with the matter.

The Public Investment Fund acquired 30% of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s stake in Jasara Program Management Co. and 10% from Jacobs, one of the people said, leaving Aramco with 20% and Jacobs with 40%. The joint venture was created in 2017 to provide management services for social infrastructure projects in the kingdom and across the Middle East and North Africa, according to a Jacobs statement from that year.

Jasara declined to comment, while Saudi Aramco and Dallas-based Jacobs didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. None of the people disclosed the value of the deal.

At the time Jasara was created, the Saudi government had announced plans to transform Aramco from an energy company into an industrial conglomerate, as part of efforts to help the biggest Arab economy break its reliance on oil sales. Aramco has built the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah at the request of the government, and established the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology on the Red Sea.

Aramco, the world’s most profitable company, is restarting preparations for a potential initial public offering, months after putting the planned listing on hold, other people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

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