Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) has reached an agreement to acquire a 30% stake in EP Infrastructure (EPIF), a portfolio of regulated and contracted infrastructure assets in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The MIRA-managed consortium is led by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 and includes global institutional investors.
The vendor, Energetický a průmyslový holding, a.s. (EPH), will retain the remaining 70% stake in EPIF.
The current shareholders of EPH concluded a series of transactions, through which Daniel Křetínský (94%) and selected members of the existing management of EPH (6%), will become sole owners of EPH going forward.
The current shareholders, Biques Limited (controlled by private equity structures of J&T partners), Milees Limited (controlled by Patrik Tkáč), and EP Investment S.à.r.l. (controlled by Daniel Křetínský), will receive in total €1.5 billion (US$1,65 billion) at closing from EPH for the sale of their shares in EPH representing in aggregate 30% of EPH share capital. Whereas Biques Limited will sell all its shares in EPH, Milees Limited and EP Investment S.à.r.l. will sell each 2.17 % shares in EPH in this share-buy-back transaction.
EPIF’s largest investment is in Eustream, the sole gas transmission network in Slovakia and a strategic part of the European gas transmission network, connecting Ukraine in the east to Czech Republic and Austria in the west as well as providing interconnection with neighbouring countries.
EPIF also owns a regulated gas network and a power distribution network in Slovakia. In the Czech Republic, EPIF has four regulated district heating networks, including in the city of Prague. EPIF has controlling stakes in three underground gas storage facilities in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, underpinned by long-term contracts, and representing the largest gas storage capacity around the key Baumgarten gas trading hub in Austria.
The transaction is expected to complete in early Q1 2017, following customary regulatory approvals.
Martin Stanley, Global Head of MIRA, said:
“This investment in EPIF provides investors with a well-diversified portfolio of regulated and contracted critical infrastructure assets in two of Europe’s dynamic economies. We look forward to working with our key co-shareholders - EPH and the Slovak Republic - to ensure the EPIF portfolio businesses continue to deliver to communities and customers.”
Daniel Křetínský, Chairman of the board of EPH, stated:
“We welcome Macquarie, one of the most prestigious global managers of infrastructure assets, and its consortium partners as our new partner and shareholder in EPIF. Their investment in EPIF is clear recognition of the quality of assets owned by EP Infrastructure. We look forward to our future cooperation and we are convinced that the new shareholder in EPIF will bring beneficial contributions to the area of finance and to strategic discussions on each business area within EPIF. Macquarie and its consortium partners are among the world’s leading investors in energy infrastructure and bring valuable global experience and expertise to the business.”