LONDON, July 24 (Reuters Point Carbon) - Barclays
has sold carbon project developer Tricorona back to the
company's management, the UK-headquartered investment bank said
on Tuesday, two years after it bought the Sweden-based firm for
"Barclays confirms it has sold its equity interest in
Tricorona to management," a spokeswoman told Reuters Point
Carbon via email.
Neither party would provide further details including the
value, date or reason for the deal, but a well-placed source
said Barclays had sold its entire stake, which amounted to 85.7
percent of Tricorona.
Barclays paid $159 million for control of Tricorona in 2010,
representing a 40 percent premium over the company's shares
before deal was announced.
Back then, the U.N.-backed carbon credits Tricorona
originates and sells were priced around 13 euros each, a far cry
from the record low of 2.82 euros plumbed by benchmark futures
last week due to a massive oversupply mixed with crumbling
The deal was placed under scrutiny late last year when UK
carbon trading and advisory firm CF Partners launched an
82-million euro lawsuit against Barclays claiming it misused
confidential information to clinch the takeover, an allegation
the British bank has rejected.
A copy of the lawsuit, seen by Reuters Point Carbon in
December, showed CF Partners claimed that it first identified
Tricorona as an attractive takeover prospect and in around
August 2008 approached Barclays for financing and help with a
The bank signed a confidentiality agreement and provided
advisory services to CF Partners that would have netted Barclays
around 15 million pounds in fees, the lawsuit said.
CF Partners declined to comment on Tricorona's management
buy-out or on the ongoing lawsuit between itself and Barclays.
Barclays' move is the latest in a growing trend by major
banks that look to be scaling back their activities in the once,
red-hot carbon market.
Morgan Stanley's purchase of a 38 percent stake in
Miami-based project developer MGM International in 2007 kicked
off the craze of major financial institutions investing in
offset developers, but by 2010 it had sold its investment.
JP Morgan disposed of its voluntary offset provider Climate
Care last year after management sought to buy back the company,
and reduced head count by 25 percent at its compliance offset
developer EcoSecurities in April amid low carbon prices.
The financial services giant beat off stiff competition from
Tricorona, EDF Trading, and holding company Guanabara to buy
Ecosecurities for 123 million pounds ($193 million) in 2009, a
120 percent premium on its share price before the bidding war