Noble Group finally completes sale of Americas-focused oil business to Vitol

An employee is reflected on the wall as she walks past a signage of Noble Resources, a Noble Group subsidiary, at their premises in Singapore. REUTERS

Noble Group on Monday said it completed the sale of Noble American oil business to Vitol U.S. Holdings about $580 million.

This marks the conclusion of its monetisation of the Global Oil Liquids and North American Gas & Power businesses and retirement of its senior secured borrowing base revolving credit facilities, Noble said in a statement.

Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, closed a deal to buy Singapore-listed Noble's oil liquids unit Noble Americas Corp last year.

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Noble said the estimated net proceeds from the sale were US$400 million, which was based on the estimated closing date base consideration of US$214 million, plus estimated closing date net working capital of US$388 million, net of US$202 million of loans drawn under the NAC senior secured borrowing base revolving credit facility.

Loans drawn under the Noble Americas Corp senior secured borrowing base revolving credit facility were repaid by Vitol at closing and the Noble Americas Corp credit facility has subsequently been retired, the company said in the statement.

Noble said the amount paid by Vitol to the Group was US$272 million at closing, with US$122 million placed in escrow and US$6 million payable by the group towards transaction costs.

The Hong Kong-based firm, which is in talks with investors to address its deteriorating financial position, has been forced to shrink its business, exiting loss-making and non-core operations in order to survive.

Noble Group shares were unchanged at S$0.20 on the Singapore Exchange. The trader's market capitalization, which once topped $10 billion, has shrunk to $270 million.

This article was first published on January 15, 2018