ExxonMobil hires Barclays to sell part stake in Hong Kong's Castle Peak Power: report

ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company by market value, has hired Barclays to find a buyer for part of its majority stake in Hong Kong utility joint venture Castle Peak Power Co, after having failed to sell the asset for nearly a year.

The Texas-based company wants to sell about half  of its 60-per cent stake in Castle Peak Power, which owns three Hong Kong natural gas, coal and diesel-fired power plants, Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

Castle Peak Power is a 1981 joint venture between ExxonMobil, which owns 60 per cent in it and Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings, with the remaining 40 per cent, and is run by the wealthy Kadoorie family.

Last year, CLP, Hong Kong's biggest electricity provider, had teamed up with China Southern Power Grid Co to buy ExxonMobil's stake, but CLP had then said that talks had broken down over major differences in valuation.

First-round bids are due in early April, and according to analysts, the auction might attract interest from infrastructure funds, Japanese trading houses, sovereign wealth funds and even from CLP, which also has operations in Australia Taiwan, India, and Thailand.

Castle Peak Power's three coal-fired power stations have a generation capacity of 6,908 megawatts.

Several media reports said that ExxonMobil's 60-per cent stake was valued last year at around $3 billion.