Noble to complete sale of US energy unit in second half of 2016

An employee walks past a signage of Noble Resources, a Noble Group subsidiary, at their premises in Singapore.
An employee walks past a signage of Noble Resources, a Noble Group subsidiary, at their premises in Singapore.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Singapore-listed commodities trader Noble Group said on Monday (June 13) it has hired Morgan Stanley and HSBC as advisors on the planned sale of its Noble Americas Energy Solutions (NAES) unit, targeting completion of the deal in the second half of the year.

"The announcement of the divestment has already generated significant interest from a broad spectrum of potential buyers," Noble said in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Monday.

The company began the sale process for US-based electricity supplier NAES on May 30 when it had also announced that its chief executive officer Yusuf Alireza quit. In August 2015, Noble indicated the value of the business at more than US$1.25 billion.

The sale move is aimed at boosting the balance sheet at Noble, whose shares have been battered since early last year by an accounting dispute and weak commodity markets.

Earlier this month it said it was raising about US$500 million from a deeply discounted share issue and cutting jobs and chairman Richard Elman announced he was stepping down.