Arun Sudhaman 05 Jul 2012 // 11:00PM GMT
SITTARD, THE NETHERLANDS--Sabic, the Saudi Arabian petrochemical giant that is one of the world’s biggest companies, has kicked off a major review of its marketing communications activities.
The Holmes Report understands that the multimillion dollar global assignment covers the full range of Sabic’s communications duties, including PR, crisis management, investor relations, advertising and media buying.
A source involved in the process said that the $89bn Saudi company is potentially aiming to consolidate its current roster of agencies. Sabic works with Hill + Knowlton Strategies, and has also worked with ad agency McCann Erickson, along with local market partners such as Marketing Solutions in the Netherlands and Edelman in China.
The review is being led by Sabic’s procurement department in the Dutch city of Sittard. A company representative confirmed it had launched a tender to select an agency, but declined to provide any further details.
It is thought that the review is attracting interest from several global PR networks, many of whom are partnering with advertising and media buying partner firms.
Sabic is the world’s largest petrochemical company by market value, and operates in more than 40 countries worldwide, employing more than 40,000 people. It has been described by the FT as “one of the largest and most ambitious experiments by Gulf states to transform the use of vast energy reserves in a broader and deeper economy.”
The Riyadh-based company is the largest public company in the Arab world, and is expected to attract considerable institutional investment interest as the Saudi Arabian stock market liberalises its strict ownership rules. At present, the Saudi government owns 70 percent of Sabic.
The company has made three international acquisitions over the past decade, including GE’s plastics division, and is expected to step up global expansion, particularly in the US. Sabic produces chemicals, plastics, fertilizers and metals that are used in a wide range of goods.