The Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) has approved a request by petrochemicals producer Sipchem to issue almost 367 million shares, taking its total number of shares to over 7.33 billion. The new shares will be exchanged for all the shares of fellow petchem firm Sahara Petrochemical in a takeover announced late last year. The transaction is scheduled to be completed by the end of June (MEES, 7 December 2018). The two companies are presenting the deal as a “merger of equals.” The companies operate polyolefins complexes which are less than 7km apart in Jubail Industrial City on the Saudi Gulf coast. They see the merger bringing scale and resilience in the increasingly competitive petrochemicals sector, while enabling them to improve the efficiency and productivity of their combined operations.