Eleven months after The Blackstone Group said it was interested in selling its 41% stake in Houston’s Cheniere Energy, it has made the sale. One totaling an estimated $7 billion according to reports.
In September 2019, as OK Energy Today reported, the private equity firm had 202 million shares in Cheniere, the company with a major natural gas pipeline out of Oklahoma’s STACK and SCOOP plays. This week, Blackstone said the sale was made to Brookfield Infrastructure and its own affiliated company.
Bloomberg put the $7 billion label on the deal after Blackstone did not reveal the value. But Blackstone will gain $5 billion from the sale.
Cheniere Energy, the nation’s biggest LNG producer, owns a 48.6% stake in Cheniere Energy Partner LP, while Blackstone CQP Holdco LP and the public hold the rest.
The sale comes as demand for the super chilled fuel has been recovering after the coronavirus pandemic hurt exports and forced buyers to cancel cargoes.
Cheniere is moving the development of its sixth train at Sabine Pass in Louisiana to the second half of 2022, from the first half of 2023. Train 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas, will be substantially completed in the first half of 2021, it said in August.
Last fall, Blackstone leader David Foley explained he was interested in unloading shares in Cheniere because it was considered to be “financially healthy” and was the biggest exporter of U.S. LNG.
“Everything we own, we have to consider selling at some point,” Foley said. “We’re very happy with the investment. It’s great. If someone else sees that value and wants to make an offer, we’d have to consider it.”