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Hess Sale Highlights Shift to Exploration

The sale of the energy marketing business is part of Hess' plan to transform into an oil exploration and production business

Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) is selling its energy marketing business to Direct Energy LLC for about $1.03 billion.

The purchase price includes $731 million in cash as well as net working capital of about $300 million.

The energy marketing business, headquartered in Woodbridge, N.J., supplies natural gas and electricity to 23,000 commercial, industrial and small business customers in the eastern half of the U.S.

The Houston-based buyer supplies energy and energy services in Canada and the U.S. Direct Energy is the North American subsidiary of Centrica plc, an energy company based in Cornwall, England.

The sale is part of Hess' plan to transform into an oil exploration and production business. Earlier this year, Hess sold four properties and used the proceeds to pay down $2.4 billion in debt. The company says it is now able to begin a planned $4 billion share buyback.

Still up for sale is Hess' stake in Hetco, an energy- trading joint venture with offices in New York, London, Dubai, Geneva, Singapore, Houston and Boston.


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