Saudi Petrochemical Producers Plan to Return to Merger Table

(Bloomberg) -- Sahara Petrochemical Co. and Saudi International Petrochemical Co. plan to resume talks about a potential merger, four years after a tie-up was put on hold.

Discussions will begin after “recent changes in the regulatory framework,” both companies said Tuesday in separate statements to the Saudi stock exchange. The chief executive officers of both companies told Bloomberg Monday that they were again evaluating a merger, sending shares of Saudi International Petrochemical, also known as Sipchem, up 2.6 percent.

The initial merger, which proposed a share swap, was put on hold because both companies said it would be difficult to proceed using a structure acceptable to both sides under the regulatory framework at the time.

The companies have a combined market value of 14.7 billion riyals ($3.9 billion). Al-Zamil Holding Group is the biggest shareholder of both companies, with 9.7 percent of Sipchem and 7.9 percent of Sahara, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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