Apr. 6—California utility giant Sempra Energy signed a $3.37 billion deal with private equity firm KKR to sell a 20% stake in its infrastructure division which includes liquified natural gas export terminals.
Sempra Energy has a majority stake in an LNG export terminal in Cameron Parish, which is considering expansion. The company may decide to use some of that windfall to invest in its infrastructure business, though most of it is earmarked for utilities.
Sempra LNG previously told federal regulators it anticipates making a final investment decision about the expansion plan by the end of June. That's also when the deal between Sempra Infrastructure Partners and KKR is expected to close. Sempra is valued to be worth $25.2 billion overall since it includes 45 million tons per year of LNG under construction or operational across North America,
KKR is based in New York City and was co-founded in 1976 by Henry Kravis and George Roberts. It now has more than $200 billion in total assets and more than 100 portfolio companies. Inside that total, one of its funds has $27 billion of infrastructure assets across 40 businesses around the world.
"Investing in critical new energy infrastructure creates jobs, delivers reliable energy with fewer emissions and supports North America's economic recovery," said Raj Agrawal, global head of infrastructure and KKR partner in a news release.
Cameron LNG is jointly owned by affiliates of Sempra LNG, Total SE, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Japan LNG Investment LLC, a company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha. Sempra Energy indirectly owns 50.2% of Cameron LNG.
Cameron LNG exports up to 12 million tons of LNG each year from three units at its export terminal, the equivalent of 1.7 billion cubic feet each day. A proposed expansion of Cameron LNG could add two more units to the site, boosting its export capacity to nearly 25 million tons each year. That's nearly as large the competing Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass LNG terminal.
"Proceeds from the sale will be used to help fund growth across our $32 billion capital program which is primarily centered on our U.S. utilities, but also includes investments in our infrastructure business," said Kelli Mleczko, spokesperson for Sempra Energy in a recent email.
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