| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Aug 2 Gavilon, which earlier this year
sold its grain-trading business, has retained Barclays
to help it find a buyer for its remaining energy business in a
deal that could fetch around $1 billion, according to two people
familiar with the matter.
Gavilon sold its grain-trading business to Japanese trading
house Marubeni Corp for $2.6 billion, after Marubeni
backed out of its original $3.6 billion deal to buy the entire
Gavilon could not immediately be reached for comment, while
Barclays declined to comment.
Shareholders of privately held Gavilon, which is based in
Omaha, Nebraska, include billionaire investor George Soros,
Dwight Anderson's Ospraie hedge fund, and Egypt's Orascom
Gavilon's energy facilities, largely centered in the Midwest
and on the Gulf Coast, could be attractive to rival traders or
private equity firms looking for access to the North American
Gavilon owns 8.5 million barrels of crude oil storage
capacity in the United States, including more than 4 million
barrels of tank space at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point
for the benchmark U.S. crude oil futures contract.
It also has facilities that can hold more than 10 billion
cubic feet of natural gas. Gavilon currently ranks as the 24th
largest seller of natural gas in the United States, according to
reported sales to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The attempt to sell Gavilon's energy business comes at a
time when several other oil and gas traders are on the block.
Last week JPMorgan Chase & Co announced it was
looking at exiting physical commodities trading, putting one of
Wall Street's biggest movers of crude tankers and gas flows up
Morgan Stanley has also looked at selling all or part
of its energy-focused commodity division in the past year, with
Wall Street facing increasing regulatory pressure and rising
Hess Corp's trading arm, Hetco, is also being
divested following pressure from activist investors to focus on
oil and gas production.