Troubled Noble Group flogs off two units to raise money for debts

Noble Group expects to report a net loss of US$1.7 billion to US$1.8 billion (S$2.3 billion to S$2.4 billion) for the second quarter.
Noble Group expects to report a net loss of US$1.7 billion to US$1.8 billion (S$2.3 billion to S$2.4 billion) for the second quarter.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Noble Group is selling off its global oil liquids business and North American gas and power unit, the beleaguered commodities trader announced on Wednesday (July 26).

The move is part of plans to pare debt over the next two years, and follows a strategic review begun in May to turn around its struggling operations and manage liquidity woes.

Noble expects to report a net loss of US$1.7 billion to US$1.8 billion (S$2.3 billion to S$2.4 billion) for the second quarter.

Wholly owned subsidiaries Noble Americas Corp and Noble Americas Gas & Power Corp are set to be bought by Mercuria Energy America under a binding stock purchase agreement.

Meanwhile, Noble is also scouting for potential buyers who can take its global oil liquids unit off its hands, with final bids expected during this quarter. Global oil liquids is its most working capital-intensive operation.

"To date, the strategic review has explored several alternatives, including the sale of an interest in the group or its subsidiaries or disposals of parts of its business, with a view to maximising value for the benefit of the group's stakeholders and to best position the group for the challenges and opportunities facing the commodities-trading industry," said Noble.