Centrica Plc has picked Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise on the potential sale of its controlling stake in exploration and production unit Spirit Energy, people familiar with the matter said.
A deal could value the business at more than US$2 billion, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
Centrica is pursuing a sale of its stake in Spirit as the U.K. utility seeks to recover from a tumultous five-year period under CEO Iain Conn where it lost more than two-thirds of its value and shed millions of customers. It owns 69 per cent of Spirit, while the remaining stake is owned by Bayerngas Norge’s former shareholders, according to the company’s website.
Spirit was formed in 2017 after Centrica and Bayerngas Norge AS combined their upstream oil and gas units. The unit produces about 50 million barrels of oil equivalent a year and has an estimated 600 million barrels of resources and reserves across the U.K., Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark.
Accounting firm KPMG is also working with Centrica on audit work for the transaction, according to one of the people. Representatives for Centrica and Goldman Sachs declined to comment, while a spokesman for Spirit said the company will “support the sales process as appropriate.” A representative for KPMG didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.