Marubeni Said to Consider Sale of Australian Power Station Stake

Marubeni Corp., Japan’s biggest grain-trading company, is considering a possible sale of its 30 percent stake in an Australian power station, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

Tokyo-based Marubeni is in the early stages of assessing a sale of its ownership in the Millmerran power station in Queensland state, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the details are private. Marubeni is being advised by Rothschild, the person said.

Energy contributed almost 20 percent of Marubeni’s 47.1 billion yen ($502 million) profit in the three months ending Dec. 31. Chief Executive Officer Teruo Asada has said the company may sell some assets to cut its debt-to-equity ratio by March 31. In May last year, the trader said it would purchase Gavilon Group LLC for $3.6 billion, excluding debt.

The coal-fired power station generates 850 megawatts, or enough to supply 1.1 million homes, according to its website. Coal is supplied from the adjacent Commodore mine. Dutch power generation company Intergen NV, owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and China Huaneng Group Corp., operates the plant.

A Marubeni spokeswoman declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the possible sale earlier today, citing an unidentified person.