Gavilon hires Barclays to sell $1-bn energy unit

Gavilon has hired Barclays to help it find a buyer for its energy business in a deal that could fetch the US grain and energy trader around $1 billion, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The move comes two months after Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp reduced the size of its $3.6 billion acquisition of Gavilon by $1 billion by excluding its energy business out of the deal. (See: Marubeni excludes Gavilon's energy business out of $3.6-bn acquisition). 

In May 2012, Marubeni, Japan's fifth-largest trading house had offered to buy Omaha, Nebraska-based Gavilon for $3.6 billion, but later reduced the size of the deal by $1 billion by excluding Gavilon's energy business from the acquisition.

Marubeni did not give reasons for excluding the energy business out of the deal, but analysts had said that the Tokyo-based company's interest is in the grains and not the oil part of the business.

Gavilon's energy business comprises of crude oil, refined products, natural gas, natural gas liquids and renewables.

Gavilon, formerly known as ConAgra Trade Group, has more than 4 million barrels of crude oil storage capacity and is the 24th largest seller of natural gas in the US.