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Noble Group announces sale of U.S. oil liquids business to Vitol Group

Noble Group Ltd. announced the sale of its U.S. oil liquids business to Vitol Group. The stock purchase agreement with Vitol US Holding Co. and Euromin Inc., the parent company of Vitol, was signed on October 19. The sale shares are held by Noble Group Ltd., indirectly through Noble Resources UK Holdings Limited (NRUK).

The cash proceeds for the sale is approximately USD582 million, after deducting debt of approximately USD836 million (as of June 30, 2017) from the gross consideration of USD1,418 million.

Noble Group’s global oil liquids business is primarily conducted through Noble Americas Corp. (NAC). Noble Americas Corp. trades large physical volumes of crude and refined oil products (about 2.5 million barrels per day) via ship, barge, pipeline, truck and rail. In addition, Noble Americas Corp. has blending and wholesale capabilities with long-term leases on liquid storage facilities.

Upon completion of the sale, Noble Group Ltd. will no longer hold any shares in Noble Americas Corp. and NAC will cease to be a subsidiary of NGL. In addition, certain subsidiaries of Noble Americas Corp. will also cease to be subsidiaries of Noble Group.

The sale of Noble’s oil liquids business follows the sale of a smaller gas-and-power trading unit to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., which was completed last month, for USD102 million, with a further USD83 million deposited into an escrow account.

The global commodity trader’s crisis has spanned the past two years. Once Asia’s largest commodity trader, the Hong Kong-based company has been disposing of assets to pay back lenders to survive. Noble Group warned of a total net loss of USD1.1 billion to USD1.25 billion in the three months ending September, citing non-cash losses and underlying trading results. This follows a USD1.75 billion net loss reported in April-June.

Noble Group has been locked in negotiations with its core lenders to support a USD2 billion credit facility, secured on its inventories and working capital.