September 24, Blackstone (NYSE: BX) announced that private equity funds managed by Blackstone Energy Partners have closed the sale of their approximately 42% stake in Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. to Brookfield Infrastructure and funds managed by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners. The transaction values the approximately 42% stake at $7 billion.
The sale represents the culmination of Blackstone Energy Partners’ 8+ years of involvement with Cheniere. In 2012 Blackstone Energy Partners and its affiliates invested $1.5 billion in Cheniere Energy Partners to build the first two liquefaction trains at the Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana. Sabine Pass was the first LNG export facility in the lower 48 states, providing a critical link between North American gas producers and growing international LNG demand centers. The construction of Sabine Pass created 5,000 US jobs and continues to support American energy independence, generate export revenues, and provide cleaner, more affordable energy to millions of people worldwide.
Commenting on the transaction, David Foley, Global Head of Blackstone Energy Partners said: “Blackstone’s early equity commitment to Cheniere enabled the timely construction of Sabine Pass, the first LNG export facility in the lower 48 states and one of the largest construction projects in the U.S. I’m proud of the success of the project, the support we were able to provide to Cheniere’s outstanding executive management team as they ably dealt with various challenges over the years and the tremendous return we delivered for our investors.”
Jack Fusco, Chief Executive Officer, Cheniere said: “Cheniere is grateful for the collaborative and mutually beneficial partnership we have had with Blackstone Energy Partners over the past eight years. Today, Sabine Pass is a world-scale LNG complex, providing flexible, reliable, and cost competitive U.S. LNG to markets worldwide, and I would like to thank David Foley and the Blackstone team for their contributions to Cheniere’s many successes. We still have much to accomplish at Cheniere, and I look forward to working alongside Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield Infrastructure Management to achieve our shared goals.”
Sean Klimczak, Global Head of Blackstone Infrastructure Partners added: “Under the leadership of Jack Fusco and his team, Sabine Pass has successfully transitioned from a construction project to a global leader in the LNG sector. Cheniere benefits from long-term contracted revenues across a diverse set of investment-grade counterparties, generating the stable and growing cash flows we seek to add to our infrastructure investment portfolio. Our team is excited to partner with Brookfield to invest in this large-scale, high quality infrastructure company.”
Jefferies LLC and Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisors to Blackstone Energy Partners, while Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor. Rothschild & Co acted as financial advisor to Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as legal advisor.