Sempra Energy, RBS to sell some assets to J P Morgan Chase for $1.7 billion

Sempra Energy today said that it had decided along with The Royal Bank of Scotland to sell the European and Asian operations of their RBS-Sempra Commodities joint venture to J P Morgan Chase & Co. for $1.7 billion.

The New York-based J P Morgan Chase will cquire the global metals and oil businesses, and European natural gas and power businesses of RBS Sempra Commodities.

San Diego, California-based RBS Sempra Commodities, a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2008 revenues of nearly $11 billion, said that it will retain its North American natural gas and power businesses.

''This transaction maximises the market value of our European and Asian businesses and represents a positive first step of an orderly exit by RBS from the joint venture,'' said Donald Felsinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Sempra Energy.

The final purchase price will be determined at the close of the transaction, based on the tangible book value of the business, plus a fixed premium of $468 million.

Sempra Energy said that its share of the sale proceeds is expected to be approximately $940 million.