London: Evercore Partners Inc., the investment bank founded by Roger Altman, is planning to open an office in Dubai as it seeks new business in the region, including a role on Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.
Evercore is in discussions to become a financial adviser to the state-owned oil giant, known as Aramco, after rival Moelis & Co. was hired for the listing, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Altman’s firm is in talks with bankers from competitors to staff the new Dubai office, which it plans to open this year, the people said.
Evercore will start with a small team based in the Dubai International Financial Centre where many of its competitors are based, the people said. A representative for Evercore declined to comment on the office plans or the bank’s potential role on the Aramco IPO. Aramco declined to comment.
The investment bank is expanding globally and last year hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. veteran John Weinberg, who has said one of his top priorities is to recruit new talent. A role on the Aramco IPO, potentially the biggest listing ever, would be a coup for the New York-based boutique, which is making a push into the Middle East in anticipation of a surge in deals in the region, two of the people said.
Evercore ranks 11th among merger and acquisition advisers for deals announced in the last 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s shares have rallied recently, gaining 27 percent in 2016 and about 17 percent this year.
Aramco is seeking advisers to help it select underwriters, make decisions on potential listing venues and ensure the IPO goes smoothly, and had shortlisted Aramco and Evercore previously, people familiar with the talks had said. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is leading the IPO as part of a plan to reduce the economy’s reliance on hydrocarbons, has said the offering could value the business at more than $2 trillion.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a boutique firm run by former Citigroup Inc. banker Michael Klein were appointed as advisers last year, people familiar with the matter said in April.