(Fixes typo in lead paragraph)
SINGAPORE, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Noble Group Ltd (NGL) expects to sell its oil liquids business by the end of December as part of a plan to slim down drastically and focus on its core Asian coal trading business after a crisis-wracked two years.
“NGL continues to progress the sale of its Global Oil Liquids business. NGL currently expects the sale of the Global Oil Liquids business to complete by 31 December 2017,” the Singapore-listed company said in a statement on Monday.
In September, Chairman Paul Brough told shareholders that the company had received second round bids for the business and expected to announce a deal before the end of the month.
The company did not give any reason for the delay in the sale.
Once Asia’s biggest commodities trading house, Hong Kong-based NGL is slashing jobs and selling assets to shrink debt.
NGL flagged the sale of the capital intensive oil liquids business in July after agreeing to sell its North American gas and power business to rival Mercuria Group. On Monday, it said it had completed the sale of the gas and power business.
Reuters had reported that Mercuria Group, Vitol Group, U.S.-based Castleton Commodities International and Freepoint Commodities were among the interested parties for Noble’s oil business.
NGL previously said North American lenders to the company had extended the deadline for a $2 billion credit facility by three months to Jan. 15. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Richard Pullin)