A number of large banks and other companies unrelated to the financial industry have expressed interest in buying some assets of the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS), including JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Barclays (LON:BARC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).
Per the requirements of receiving 54 billion pounds in financial aid, RBS must divest itself of assets in the months ahead as a part of the deal.
Other companies interested in RBS assets are, Societe Generale, HSBC Plc. and Australian-based Macquarie Group Ltd. An unspecified number of oil companies have also expressed an interest.
HSBC Plc. is said to be close to acquiring the Asian retail and commercial assets in China, India and Malaysia, which is expected to close in the latter part of this week.
Also said to be close to selling is the asset-management business of RBS, which could bring $100 million.
But probably the most important of the assets being sold is the stake of RBS in its Sempra Commodities metals joint venture, where they own 51 percent and Sempra Energy the other 49 percent. Sempra will seemingly sell its stake in the operation as well, but comments from Sempra spokesman Doug Kline have implied they may buy keep part of the business but sell of other pieces. That of course could be a ploy to drive up the bids for the stake they hold. Kline added that the company has never said they would sell the entire business. The two companies have the first right of refusal to acquire the stake each other holds.
Sempra Commodities has drawn by far the largest amount of interest, and is what the big company names mentioned above are primarily seeking after.
RBS Sempra is asking for over $3 billion for the complete business, but insiders say that could change depending on the other terms of the negotiations, especially how much RBS may put into financing the deal.
Royal Bank of Scotland and Sempra Energy have enlisted investment bank Lazard to take care of the details the sale.