Exxon hires Barclays to sell Hong Kong power stake -sources

HONG KONG, March 7 Wed Mar 6, 2013 9:34pm EST

HONG KONG, March 7 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest oil company by market value, has hired Barclays to re-launch the sale of a stake in a Hong Kong power venture, sources told Reuters, in a deal that could be worth up to $2 billion.

The auction follows a failed effort by Exxon last year to sell its stake in the venture to CLP Holdings and state-owned China Southern Power Grid.

Under the revised plan, Exxon is looking to cut its 60 percent stake in Hong Kong-based Castle Peak Power Co Ltd by about half, the sources said, as part of its efforts to divest non-core assets around the world.

CLP, controlled by Hong Kong's wealthy Kadoorie family, owns the remaining 40 percent of Castle Peak which operates three coal-fired power stations.

The sources, who declined to be identified as the sale process is confidential, said the 60 percent stake was valued at around $3 billion last March. Around half of that plus a premium would bring the deal value closer to $2 billion, they said.

Exxon Mobil said in an emailed statement that it does not comment on rumours or speculation and that it routinely assesses its global portfolio of businesses.

A CLP spokeswoman declined to comment and pointed to a statement CLP made about the acquisition talks in its annual report released last week.

"The negotiations with Exxon Mobil have been protracted and there has been a considerable gap between CLP/CSG and Exxon Mobil on the valuation and terms of any such acquisition," the report said.

A Hong Kong-based spokesman for Barclays declined to comment.

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