Walter Mencken 10:15 a.m., Dec. 13
After comments by President Obama on regulating the size of the nation's largest banks, it appears that leading bidder JP Morgan will not purchase the Royal Bank of Scotland share of RBS Sempra Commodities LLC (http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/201002011217DOWJONESDJONLINE000318_FORTUNE5.htm).
According to Margot Patrick of Dow Jones Newswires, "The RBS Sempra business now looks likely to be carved up, resulting in a less-straightforward outcome for RBS than if it had fully divested the stake in one go."
Sempra Energy, owner of SDG&E, earlier reported $105 million in quarterly income from its stake in RBS Sempra Commodities, compared to $107 million in the same quarter from SDG&E. There is no indication from Sempra Energy that difficulties in the RBS sale of its share is a factor in Sempra Energy's recent executive re-structuring. In any case, it seems that both SDG&E and Sempra Energy are now spending a lot less on television advertising compared to the last two quarters of 2009.
Previous published comments by Sempra Energy had the company looking forward to a "one go" sale of the RBS share, and that RBS would continue to be involved in financing the commodities venture. At least a portion of Sempra Energy was derived from an Enron commodities trading unit over a decade ago, to become "a new kind of energy company" which "would realize one-third of earnings from our unregulated businesses by 2003" (Simply Stated: Sempra Energy 2000 Annual Report).
It is possible that Sempra Energy might sell off its portion of RBS Sempra Commodities, a comment that surfaced earlier today at TheStreet.com.