Morgan Stanley (MS.N) is close to a deal to sell its stake in its TransMontaigne (TLP.N) oil transportation-and-storage business, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The company has narrowed the list of bidders for the business that could be worth several hundred million dollars, the newspaper said.
NGL Energy Partners LP (NGL.N) and Buckeye Partners LP (BPL.N) are among the companies that have held discussions with Morgan Stanley regarding the deal, the Journal said.
Officials at TransMontaigne expect to have a deal in the next few months, the newspaper reported.
Morgan Stanley had launched a formal effort in December to sell its controlling stake in TransMontaigne, while it sold the majority of its global physical oil trading operations to Russian state-run oil major Rosneft (ROSN.MM).
The bank has been trying to sell or spin off its physical commodity business for over a year as it faces increased regulatory pressure and higher capital requirements.
The TransMontaigne assets that Morgan Stanley is trying to sell include 48 fuel terminals with nearly 24 million barrels of storage capacity on the U.S. Gulf Coast, in Florida, the Midwest and across the Southeast, some of them located along the strategically important Colonial Pipeline that ships gasoline and diesel from the Gulf to the East Coast.
Officials at Morgan Stanley, TransMontaigne, NGL Energy and Buckeye Partners were not available for comment outside normal business hours.
(Reporting by Rohit T. K. and Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)