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Japan's JERA signs deal to buy EDF Trading's coal, freight arm
December 21, 2016 / 11:08 AM / 10 months ago

Japan's JERA signs deal to buy EDF Trading's coal, freight arm

JERA Co President Yuji Kakimi poses for a picture before the Reuters Global Commodities Summit in Tokyo, Japan October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s JERA Co, a fuel joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power (9501.T) and Chubu Electric Power (9502.T), said on Wednesday it has finalised terms of its previously agreed deal to take over the coal and freight trading business of French state-controlled utility EDF (EDF.PA).

Financial terms of the deal, first announced in October, were not disclosed, but JERA said its subsidiary JERA Trading Singapore plans to complete an acquisition that will significantly boost the Japanese company’s presence in the global coal trading market by early April 2017.

As part of the transaction, EDF Trading will acquire a 33 percent stake in JERA Trading, while the Japanese firm retains the remainder of the business.

Ronan Lory, Chief Financial Officer of EDF Trading will become Managing Director of JERA Trading, and Bert van Druten, head of coal and freight trading at EDF Trading, will become head of all trading operations at JERA Trading.

Under the deal, the JERA arm will buy coal and freight trading team of EDF Trading, the French company’s trade arm. It will also take full control of Amstuw BV, which operates the Rietlanden coal terminal in the Netherlands, as well as EDF Trading Australia, a business that holds a 7.5 percent interest in the Narrabri coal mine in Australia.

“The deal will make us one of the largest global coal traders with an annual physical coal sales of about 60 million tonnes and major presence in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins,” said Izumi Kai, general manager at JERA, speaking at a news conference in Tokyo.

Kai said JERA Trading aims to bolster coal sales for its Japanese parent utilities to 30 million tonnes in the 2020s from 20 million tonnes now. It also plans to expand its customer base into the rest of Asia and the Middle East, Kai said.

“Coal will remain an important fuel in global energy market. We expect to see some decline in trading in Europe due to environment concerns but we aim to retain new buyers in other areas,” he said.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi in TOKYO; Additional reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in MILAN; Editing by Louise Heavens and Kenneth Maxwell

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