F2i and Ardian to refinance 2i Rete Gas debt

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F2i and Ardian to refinance 2i Rete Gas debt

F2i and Ardian have launched a €2.06 billion (US$2.8 billion) bank and bond refinancing of Italian gas distribution network 2i Rete Gas.

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Baa2 issuer rating to 2i Rete Gas. Concurrently, Moody's has assigned a Baa2 rating to 2iRG's €3 billion EMTN programme. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

According to Moody's, the Baa2 issuer rating reflects the company's fairly low risk business profile. The rating incorporates:

  • company's focus on regulated gas distribution activities, backed by a credible and supportive regulatory framework;
  • no volume risk as distribution networks tariffs are entirely based on capacity, and limited affordability concerns, as gas distribution charges account for 14% of householders' bills;
  • a high degree of operating efficiency, as the company consistently received technical rewards allocations and was able to outperform its regulatory operating expenses allowance in recent years;
  • limited investment burden, as 2iRG expects to run a capital expenses programme of €1.6 billion between 2014-19, ie..

Ardian has a 28% stake of 2i Rete Gas, with the remaining 72% owned by F2i. Between 2009 and 2013, the company has increase its customer base by over 70% and its turnover from €318 million to €846 million.

Ardian is a shareholder of 2i Rete Gas since 2009. Through the acquisition of Eon Rete Gas and G6 Rete Gas SpA, two major Italian operators in the distribution of natural gas, 2i Rete Gas has become the 2nd largest player and the leading independent operator in the Italian regulated gas distribution industry.

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