Tokyo Gas Anticipates Completion of Australian LNG Asset Sale in Late February

(Reuters) — Japan's biggest city gas provider, Tokyo Gas, said on Thursday it expects to close the planned sale of its stakes in a portfolio of four Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects at the end of February.

In October 2022, the Japanese utility agreed to sell its stakes in the Australian projects to MidOcean Energy, a unit of U.S. fund EIG, for $2.15 billion, but it has taken time to complete the deal as it needed to coordinate with the many parties involved, a Tokyo Gas spokesperson said.

The deal, including the sale amount, will largely remain unchanged, except for a 1.575% stake in the Ichthys project, which will be sold to Japan's Inpex after being sold once to MidOcean, Tokyo Gas said.

The change is because Inpex, the Ichthys' operator, exercised its pre-emptive rights under the joint operating agreements and shareholders agreement to acquire Tokyo Gas's interest in the project.

Inpex issued a separate statement saying its stake in the Ichthys will rise to 66.245% to 67.82% after the acquisition, but did not disclose the deal terms.

The whole deal is subject to approvals by the Australian government and other relevant parties, leaving a chance that the sales may not be executed, Tokyo Gas said.

Tokyo Gas has said the sale was part of a portfolio reshuffle to allocate funds to growth areas and it would not affect its fuel procurement.

Tokyo Gas will sell its stake in Woodside's Pluto LNG project, Chevron's Gorgon LNG, QGC's Queensland Curtis LNG and Inpex's Ichthys LNG, but it will keep its 3.07% stake in Santos's Darwin LNG.

The utility is still assessing the impact from the deal on its earnings for the current financial year to March 31, it added.

In December, Tokyo Gas said one of its units will buy Texas-based natural gas producer Rockcliff Energy from private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners for $2.7 billion to expand its overseas business.

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