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Noble Group Is Said to Seek Buyers for Gas and Power Business

(Bloomberg) -- Noble Group Ltd. is seeking to sell its gas and power trading business and has held talks with rival traders, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The talks come as the company, once Asia’s largest commodity trader, is battling for its future after revealing a surprise quarterly loss on coal trades gone wrong.

Last month, the company said that as part of a strategic review led by new chairman Paul Brough it was "in talks with potential investors concerning the sale of an interest in the Group or its subsidiaries or parts of its business."

Noble to declined to comment.

While rivals have expressed interest in buying various parts of Noble’s business, including oil trading assets and a Jamaican alumina plant, the company has been more actively seeking a sale of its capital-intensive gas and power unit, the people said asking not to be named because the information is private.

In a presentation in February, the company said that its gas and power business, which reported operating income of $257 million last year, had been "adversely impacted by conservative approach to liquidity management."

The unit, which is primarily focused on the U.S., traded the equivalent of 334 million megawatt hours of gas and power last year, according to the company.

To contact the reporters on this story: Javier Blas in London at jblas3@bloomberg.net, Jack Farchy in London at jfarchy@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net, Alaric Nightingale

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.