Work was completed Wednesday on the sale of the last key North American assets in RBS Sempra Commodities, according to the joint venture partners, San Diego-based Sempra Energy and UK-based Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The assets are now owned by J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp., a unit of JP Morgan Chase & Co.

The JP Morgan unit gets wholesale natural gas and power trading agreements, along with over-the-counter and exchange-traded transactions, with counterparties across North America, Sempra/RBS said in a joint statement.

Originally announced in October, the sale's close, following the closing of earlier sales of the joint trading venture assets, essentially completes Sempra's exit from the commodities trading business, which over the past decade provided hundreds of millions of dollars in profits for the American energy holding company.

In April 2008 RBS Sempra Commodities was formed as part of RBS's global banking and markets business unit. RBS contributed $1.7 billion as an initial investment in the new entity and Sempra chipped in $1.6 billion. From Sempra's viewpoint, the joint venture with one of the world largest financial institutions provided it with more growth opportunities in commodities and a better chance to expand its position in global markets (see Daily GPI, April 2, 2008).

Last month Noble Group Ltd completed its acquisition of Sempra Energy Solutions, a separate unit in the RBS Sempra Commodities business (see Daily GPI, Sept. 21).

Last July Sempra and RBS completed the first phase of the asset sales with an initial sale to JP Morgan of the joint venture's global metals and oil businesses, along with European natural gas and power businesses (see Daily GPI, Feb. 17).

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