Financially speaking, liquified natural gas giant Cheniere Energy has had a very busy two weeks.
Thursday, Blackstone, an investment firm, announced it had finalized the sale of its 42 percent stake in Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. to Brookfield Infrastructure. The transaction values the stake at $7 billion.
And days earlier, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund bought a 5.1 percent stake in Cheniere, worth $615 million. That’s according to a Sept. 14 filing by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which now becomes the company’s fourth-largest shareholder as a result of the transaction.
Houston-based Cheniere Energy is the largest U.S. exporter of liquefied natural gas. It operates export facilities near Gregory and at Sabine Pass in Louisiana.
The Trump administration has touted LNG exports as more than an economic boon for the U.S. Use of natural gas is expected to continually climb in the coming years as China and other major consumers look to wean their industrial and power sectors off other dirtier fossil fuels, such as coal.
Cheniere has a permit for three production units at its facility off State Highway 35 and is waiting for a permit to construct seven mid-scale production units. Together, they will be able to produce 9.5 million metric tons of LNG per year.
Since the U.S. began shipping shale gas overseas in 2016, Cheniere has vaulted into the ranks of the world’s top LNG suppliers.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, founded in 1976, has almost $580 billion in assets and is the world’s third-biggest government wealth fund, according to the SWF Institute.
In 2012, Blackstone Energy Partners and its affiliates invested $1.5 billion in Cheniere Energy Partners to build the first two liquefaction trains at the Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana. Sabine Pass was the first LNG export facility in the lower 48 states, providing a critical link between North American gas producers and growing international LNG demand centers.
Jefferies LLC and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to Blackstone Energy Partners, while Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor. Rothschild & Co. acted as financial advisor to Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as legal advisor.
Chris Ramirez writes about energy, commerce and all things business. Support local coverage like this by checking out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe