London, 19 December 2012
A consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), has agreed to acquire approximately 35 per cent in RWE Grid Holding, a.s. (RGH), an entity which will act as the holding company for four regional gas distribution networks in the Czech Republic.
The Consortium comprises majority investor Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 (MEIF4) and another Macquarie-managed vehicle.
RGH will own and operate approximately 80 per cent of the Czech Republic’s gas distribution network, with approximately 64,500 km of gas pipeline, over 2.3 million connection points and a regulated asset base in excess of €1.5 billion.
The Consortium will acquire minority interests in three regional gas networks from SPP, E.ON and GdF. These minority interests will be consolidated into RGH, alongside the existing Czech gas distribution interests of RWE.
Edward Beckley, European Head of MIRA, said: “This is a unique opportunity to create a high-quality, consolidated gas distribution business in one of Eastern Europe’s strongest economies. RGH is an excellent match for the long-term investment objectives of our investors.
“We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with RWE and ensuring the network continues to deliver efficient and reliable gas services for its customers,” commented Mr Beckley.
This is the second acquisition for MEIF4, following its investment in the German gas transmission system operator, Open Grid Europe GmbH in July 2012.
Completion of the transaction is subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals and is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2013.
WOOD & Company acted as financial advisor on the transaction and Patria Finance as financial adviser on the acquisition of minority interests from E.ON. Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking acted as debt adviser on the transaction. Allen & Overy (Prague) acted as legal adviser.
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), part of Macquarie Group, is a leading global alternative asset manager specialising in infrastructure funds, other real asset funds and customised accounts. Established in 1996, it is the largest manager of infrastructure assets in the world with €78 billion of assets under management and 96 infrastructure businesses including 14 major utilities (of which six are large gas networks) worldwide. MIRA’s team of experienced professionals have in-depth operational expertise contributing significantly to the success of the businesses in which it invests. MIRA has been an investor in the Czech Republic since 2010, when Macquarie-managed funds acquired Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa).
Macquarie Group (Macquarie) is a global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and funds management services. Founded in 1969, Macquarie employs more than 13,400 people in 28 countries and has assets under management of €275 billion.
All figures as at 30 September 2012.