Brookfield?in talks to buy Blackstone's stake in LNG operator Cheniere

Blackstone's stake is worth about US$7.8 billion

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Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s infrastructure arm is in talks to acquire Blackstone Group Inc.’s minority stake in liquefied natural gas terminal operator Cheniere Energy Partners LP, according to people familiar with the matter.

The alternative asset manager is working with a partner to acquire Blackstone’s interest, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public. No final decision has been made and Brookfield Asset Management could opt to not proceed, they said.

Blackstone’s stake is worth about US$7.8 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Representatives for Brookfield Asset Management, Blackstone and Cheniere declined to comment.

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Cheniere Energy Partners’ units rose as much as 5.7 per cent Tuesday. They were up 2.1 per cent to US$38.64 at 2:37 p.m. in New York, giving the company a market value of about US$18.7 billion.

Cheniere Energy Partners, a limited partnership created by Cheniere Energy Inc., owns the first major liquefied natural gas export terminal in the U.S.

Blackstone agreed to invest about US$1.5 billion in the company in 2012.

The private equity firm owned 41.2 per cent of the company as of June 30 while Cheniere Energy Inc. owned 48.6 per cent, according to a regulatory filing this month.

Blackstone had been seeking a premium for its stake and had begun marketing it to a small number of infrastructure, pension and sovereign wealth funds, Bloomberg News reported last summer.

Brookfield Asset Management, based in Toronto, is one of world’s largest alternative asset manages multiple billions of dollars across asset classes including real estate, energy and infrastructure.

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