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Louis Dreyfus to sell energy trading business-FT

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Louis Dreyfus Group and the hedge fund unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co are selling their jointly owned energy trading business to an investor group, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

The deal is expected to help fund an expansion plan by Louis Dreyfus in its core agricultural trading business, while a new ownership structure for LDH Energy, the company that will be sold, should help it raise capital and fund its own expansion, the newspaper said. It didn't give terms for the deal.

LDH Energy is the eighth largest natural gas trader in the United States, the FT said, citing Natural Gas Intelligence. It is also a top 10 crude and products merchant, it said.

The company will be sold to Glenn Dubin, Paul Tudor Jones and other investors.

Dubin is the chairman of Highbridge Capital, the JPMorgan hedge fund that co-owns LDH Energy, according to the report. Jones is the founder of hedge fund Tudor Investment Corp.

Dubin will purchase a stake from Louis Dreyfus, which will keep a minority holding, while the other investors negotiated directly with Highbridge, the FT said. The new group will be named Castleton Commodities International.

LDH Energy made $200 million to $300 million in net profit last year, according to the report, adding that the valuation of the business is in "the hundreds of millions of dollars."

(Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

((manolo.serapio@thomsonreuters.com)(+65 6870 3884)(Reuters Messaging: manolo.serapio.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: DREYFUS ENERGY/