February 8, 2017 / 1:38 AM / 6 months ago

Moelis chosen as an adviser for Saudi Aramco IPO - source

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Independent investment bank Moelis & Co was chosen as an adviser for the planned initial public offering of Saudi Aramco on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Oil and gas company Saudi Aramco had invited banks in January to pitch for an advisory position on what is expected to be the world's biggest initial public offering.

Morgan Stanley and HSBC were banks that had received a request for proposals. The invitation was to evaluate Aramco's business and help it with measures surrounding the share sale.

This is a big win for boutique bank Moelis, which itself went public less than three years ago, and its founder Ken Moelis.

A Moelis spokesperson declined to comment and Saudi Aramco was not immediately available to comment.

For Moelis, the Saudi Aramco mandate dwarfs previous IPO advisory roles, which include luggage maker Samsonite on its $1.3 billion IPO in 2011 and plastic pipe company Polypipe Group Plc on its £320 million IPO in 2014.

The listing is the centerpiece of a Saudi Arabian government plan to transform the kingdom by enticing investment and diversifying the economy away from a reliance on oil.

Saudi officials expect the IPO to value Aramco at a minimum of $2 trillion. (reut.rs/2k0avBn)

Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York and Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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