NEW YORK – JPMorgan Chase & Co. has expanded into the physical commodity markets aggressively over the past five years, first with the purchase of Bear Stearns in 2008 and most significantly with a $1.7 billion deal to buy RBS Sempra's global oil and metals business in 2010.
On Friday the bank - which had become Wall Street's biggest trader in commodities - announced that it was putting the physical trading operations up for sale, quitting the business after months of intensifying pressure.
The following are a selection of JPMorgan's physical trading assets and operations:
ASSET: POWER PLANTS + ELECTRICTY TOLLING AND MARKETING AGREEMENTS
DATE OF PURCHASE: March 2008 (JPMorgan buys Bear Stearns, including power subsidiary Bear Energy)
DESCRIPTION: The bank's commodity division, known as JPMorgan Ventures Energy Corporation, has electricity trading deals with U.S. power plants and wind farms totaling almost 3,000 megawatts of capacity - enough to light up each one of Indiana's 2.8 million homes.
In May the bank largely exited the Californian power market, where it has been embroiled in a market manipulation scandal, selling power interests totaling over 3,000 MW of capacity to Edison International.
The bank's commodity division also has an equity interest in three entities that own power plants in the United States, including the 545 MW Kinder Jackson facility in Michigan, the 230 MW Brandywine plant in Maryland, and a 75 MW biomass plant in Florida.
JPMorgan also owns interests in power plants and wind farms through its private equity arm, JPMorgan Capital Partners, and JPMorgan Infrastructure Investments Group, its asset management division.
In late 2007, Bear Stearns' commodity arm, Houston-based Bear Energy, acquired the rights to more than 9,000 MW of electric power output after purchasing Williams Power Co.
ASSET: Henry Bath, metals warehousing business
DATE OF PURCHASE: July 2010
SELLER: RBS Sempra
PRICE: Part of $1.7 billion RBS Sempra deal.
DESCRIPTION: When RBS Sempra was bought by JPMorgan for $1.6 billion in 2010, it was the second-largest warehousing company in the LME's vast network with almost 100 warehouses. Since then it has been eclipsed by Goldman Sach's warehouse business Metro International and Glencore Xstrata's Pacorini, and is now the fourth largest based on the number of sheds.
The company was a founder member of the LME in 1877 and issued the first LME warrant on December 20 1883.
The company motto is "habere et dispertire" - to have and to share. Tracing its roots back to 18th century England, the Liverpool, UK-based company was eventually bought by Metallgesellschaft in 1986.
Until then, the company had largely been a trading house and ship operator. Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta Jones is reportedly named after the Henry Bath ship "Zeta" that was captained by her great grandfather.
It now has 72 warehousing locations in 11 countries.
STATUS: RBS Sempra was told by the Federal Reserve it must divest Henry Bath within two years of the launch of its 2008 joint venture, and JPMorgan was believed to be facing similar pressure to divest the business.
ASSET: (UBS) Commodities Canada
DATE OF PURCHASE: Feb 2009
DESCRIPTION: Bought from UBS in 2009, the Calgary-based trading division helped JPMorgan gain a foothold in the heart of the Canadian oil sands industry. It trades, transports and stores natural gas, crude and power.
"We provide extensive physical capabilities, specifically transport and warehousing, and specialize in trading and structuring across energy products, including oil, natural gas and power," the company says on its website detailing its Canadian operations.
The bank said in 2010 that it was growing its Natural Resources Group, hiring senior oil and gas traders in Calgary.
LONG-TERM TRADING DEALS:
(Reporting By Jonathan Leff and David Sheppard; Editing by Alden Bentley and Andrew Hay)