Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4, managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, and Swiss Life Funds Global Infrastructure Opportunities II, managed by Swiss Life Asset Managers, signed and agreement to buy Società Gasdotti Italia, an independent transport system operator in the gas sector in Italy, owning and operating an integrated network of high pressure natural gas pipelines with a length of ca. 1,500 km or over 4% of the Italian network (see here the press release).
The seller is Eiser Infrastructure Partners, formerly known as Abn Amro Global Infrastructure Fund, that bought Sgi in 2007 from Italy’s private equity firm Clessidra sgr for a 300 million euros enterprise value (see here AdnKronos). Clessidra had bought the company from Italian utility group in August 2004 and renamed it Sgi (see here the press release).
The acquisition by Macquarie and Swiss Life’s funds has been made through the Italian newco Sole Bidco spa, and the enterprise value is about 30% more than the 450 million euros of the Rab (regulated asset base) or more than 12x FY 2015’s ebitda of 40 million euros, MF-Milano Finanza wrote yesterday.
Sgi is quite different from the company that Eiser had bought back in 2007 as the fund had invested about 300 million euros since then. The company is still growing and it plans to invest about 400 million euros in the next 20 years.
The closing of the sale is conditional on European antitrust clearance as well as Italian Government’s golden power procedures. Financial close is expected in the next quarter. Citi and Paul Hastings acted as financial and legal advisor to EISER, respectively. Rothschild and UniCredit acted as joint financial advisors to MEIF4 and SL GIO II, with Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners acting as legal advisor
Eiser Infrastructure in Italy owns also a 25% stake in Hera Ambiente. As for Macquarie Infrastructure, it bough a 49% stake in Hydro Dolomiti Eneltogether with Dolomiti Energia last December. In those same days Swiss Life’s infrastrucuture fund bought Antin Solar Investments, an Italian company focused on building photovoltaic plants, together with Quercus fund.