Macquarie Group Joins the Race for the RBS Sempra Stake

Submitted by Share Trading on 8 January, 2010 - 16:17

Australia based Macquarie Group (MQG) Macquarie group is apparently one of the bidders who is currently racing for the stake of Royal Bank of Scotland in RBS Sempra Commodities. According to some sources, as many as three companies placed their bids for that stake for the joint venture with US utility and natural gas company Sempra Energy. JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank are the two other organizations that have placed their bids. Boutique investment bank Lazard was hired to deal with the sale. It is to be mentioned that 84 percent state owned Royal bank of Scotland received an order from the European Union to sell its 51 percent RBS Sempra Commodities stake. This is a condition under which it will receive billions in state aid.

However, it is believed that at the present time when the global economy is just rebounding from the latest financial crisis, RBS may not be able to get the premium that it is expecting to generate for the business. The bank authority stated that the commodity business is not integral for the future of RBS and it wants to dispose of the stake as soon as possible. Sempra sold its 51 percent stake to Royal Bank of Scotland during April 2008 for $US 1.7 billion and has more leverage. It holds the power to veto any sale for the RBS stake according to the joint venture agreement and can now consider buying the stake of RBS for a lower price.

While talking about the sale, Sempra Energy spokesman Doug Kline mentioned that the current situation that RBS is going through is understandable and Sempra is working with it to sort things out. However, Sempra will primarily focus on the issues that serves its investors in the best possible way, he added. The spokesman also stated that currently a number of options are being taken under consideration by Sempra which includes, selling its stake to the trading operation, purchasing the RBS stake and partially or entirely sell them to some other partner.