DIF Capital Partners agrees to sell a portfolio of French PPPs

DIF

DIF Capital Partners (“DIF”) is pleased to announce that DIF Infrastructure III (“DIF III”) has agreed to sell a portfolio of eight operational PPPs in France to 3i European Operational Projects Fund.

The portfolio consists of significant shareholdings in three educational facility projects, one multimodal train station project, one fire station project (consisting of 12 fire stations), two prison projects (consisting of three prison facilities each) and one sewer project. The projects are operational under availability-based and long term contracts, with the exception of the sewer concession project, and are all backed by strong public counterparties. Six of the eight projects were developed and acquired by DIF III as greenfield projects, and have been successfully managed into stable operational projects during DIF’s ownership.

Andrew Freeman, Head of Exits, said: “We are pleased with the sale of the portfolio that was successfully optimized throughout the life of the assets and exited via a competitive portfolio sales process. The sale represents a further underpinning of DIF’s long standing track record in the French infrastructure market and is an attractive exit for DIF III.”

DIF was advised by KPMG (M&A, Tax & Accounting), Allen & Overy (Legal) and Currie & Brown (Technical) and Egis (Technical for the sewer project).

Closing of the transaction is subject to receipt of certain customary project-counterparty approvals and antitrust consent.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with €6.0 billion of assets under management across eight closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas and Australasia through two complementary strategies:

  • DIF Infrastructure funds target equity investments in public-private partnerships (PPP/PFI/P3), concessions, utilities and renewable energy projects with long-term contracted or regulated income streams.
  • DIF CIF funds target equity investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in the energy, transportation and telecom sectors with mid-term contracted income streams.

DIF has a team of over 135 professionals, based in nine offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto. Please visit www.dif.eu for further information.

Contact:
Allard Ruijs, Partner
Email: a.ruijs@dif.eu

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Ardian and OX2 switch to N149/5.X turbines at Swedish 286 MW Åndberg wind farm

Ardian

In December 2019, Ardian, a leading private investment house, and OX2, a leading Nordic developer, signed an agreement with Nordex to utilize more powerful turbines at the Åndberg windfarm

Hamburg, 10 January 2020 – Ardian and Nordic developer OX2 are relying, for the first time, on Nordex turbines of the 5 MW class for the 286 MW wind farm “Åndberg”. The Nordex Group had already booked this order comprising 53 turbines as order intake in 2019, at that time on the basis that N149/4.0-4.5 turbines of the 4-MW class would be used. In December 2019, the customers and Nordex signed a contract for the use of even more powerful turbines at the wind farm. This makes the Åndberg project the first wind farm using the new N149/5.X turbine, which the Nordex Group introduced in March 2019.

Åndberg is currently being constructed in the province of Härjedalen, near Lillhärdal in western Sweden. The wind farm was sold to Ardian, a leading international private investment company, in February 2019 and forms part of their Nordic sustainable energy investment platform, eNordic. Following its completion in 2021, Åndberg will annually provide clean electricity in excess of 800 GWh, making it one of the largest wind farms in Sweden. Developer OX2 delivers the wind farm through an engineering and construction (EPC) agreement with Ardian.

Simo Santavirta, Head of Asset Management, Ardian Infrastructure, says: “These new turbines are innovative engineering, delivering impressive power, flexibility and efficiency. We are always looking to use the very best technological solutions for our assets and these turbines are a good example of this”.

Paul Stormoen, CEO at OX2 says: “We have a long-standing relationship with Nordex and are happy to see them continuing to develop competitive turbines suitable for the growing Nordic market.”

“We are pleased that OX2 has again opted for our wind turbines last year,” says Patxi Landa, CSO of the Nordex Group. “Technologically the N149/5.X is based on the N149/4.0-4.5 turbine type from the Delta4000 series. The N149/5.X can also be flexibly operated in different modes, depending on project requirements – and now in the 5+ MW power range too.”

The Nordex Group – a profile

The Group has installed more than 27 GW of wind energy capacity in over 40 markets and in 2018 generated revenues of EUR 2.5 billion.  The company currently has more than 6,000 employees. The joint manufacturing capacity includes factories in Germany, Spain, Brazil, the United States, India, Argentina and Mexico. The product portfolio is focused on onshore turbines in the 2.4 to 5.X MW class, which are tailor-made for the market requirements of countries with limited space and regions with limited grid capacity.

About OX2

OX2 develops, builds and manages renewable power generation. OX2 has taken a leading position in large-scale onshore wind power over the past 15 years, having generated more than 2 GW of wind power in the Nordic region. By constantly increasing access to renewable energy, OX2 is promoting the transition towards a more sustainable future. OX2 has operations in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, France and Germany. Its head office is located in Stockholm, Sweden. Sales revenue in 2018 amounted to EUR 403 million.

About Ardian

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$96bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base. Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world. Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 550 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of around 800 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.

About eNordic

eNordic is the Nordic’s first sustainable energy platform, formed by a partnership between Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, and leading domestic industry executives. Through a local, responsible and agile investment approach, eNordic enables the transformation of the energy sector through long-term partnerships with those that develop or operate sustainable energy projects in the Nordics. It invests in opportunities in wind, biomass, hydro and district heating, in addition to traditional energy assets that have the potential to be transformed or managed in a particularly sustainable way. eNordic is based in Sweden and Finland, with local teams operating throughout the Nordics region.

For more information, please contact:

Nordex SE
Felix Losada
Phone: +49 (0)40 / 300 30 – 1141
flosada@nordex-online.com

Contacts for investors:

Nordex SE
Felix Zander
Phone: +49 (0)40 / 300 30 – 1116
fzander@nordex-online.com
Ardian/eNordic
Headland
Carl Leijonhufvud

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KKR to Acquire Significant Stake in Canada’s Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project

KKR

CALGARY, Alberta & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 26, 2019– KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire, alongside Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), a 65 percent equity interest in the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project (Coastal GasLink or the Project) from TC Energy Corporation.

Coastal GasLink involves the estimated CAD $6.6 billion construction of 670 kilometers (416 miles) of natural gas pipeline and associated facilities. Once completed, the pipeline will have an initial capacity of 2.1 billion cubic feet per day and connect abundant Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin natural gas supply from the Dawson Creek, B.C. area to the LNG Canada liquefaction and export facility being constructed in Kitimat, B.C. By displacing coal and diesel-fueled generation with cleaner burning natural gas, LNG Canada expects to reduce global GHG emissions by up to 60-90 million tonnes per year, equivalent to 20-40 coal plants being shut down.

All necessary regulatory permits have been received for the Project and construction activities have commenced. Coastal GasLink is backed by 25 year Transportation Service Agreements with the five LNG Canada owners.

“We are excited to partner with TC Energy, a world class infrastructure developer, on this critical project,” said Brandon Freiman, Member and Head of North American Infrastructure at KKR. “Coastal GasLink represents our third investment in infrastructure supporting Canada’s natural gas industry. We believe the export of Canadian natural gas to global markets will deliver significant benefits for the Canadian economy and local communities in Western Canada, and enable meaningful progress toward reducing global emissions.”

KKR is making the investment primarily through a separately managed infrastructure account in partnership with the National Pension Service of Korea (NPS).

HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. and TD Securities Inc. are serving as financial advisors to KKR, and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is acting as KKR’s legal counsel.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate and credit, with strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside the capital it manages for fund investors and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

About NPS

NPS is a public pension fund in South Korea with assets under management of KRW 714.3 trillion ($620 billion) as at September 30, 2019. Established in 1988, the purpose of the fund is to maximize investment return while maintaining long-term fiscal stability to stabilize and promote public livelihood and welfare in Korea. With a distinct risk-return profile from traditional asset classes, alternative investments portfolio of NPS has contributed to generating sustainable returns for the total portfolio. NPS is headquartered in Korea and has 3 overseas offices in New York, London, and Singapore. For more information about NPS, please visit fund.nps.or.kr.

Source: KKR

Media:
KKR
Kristi Huller or Cara Major
212-750-8300
media@kkr.com

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DIF Capital Partners closes acquisition of Cerro Grande wind farm in Uruguay

DIF

DIF Capital Partners (“DIF”), through its most recent fund DIF Infrastructure V, is pleased to announce the 100% acquisition of the 50 MW Cerro Grande wind farm in Uruguay from Enercon and eab New Energy.

The project, comprising 22 turbines, has been operational since January 2018 and benefits from a 20-year power purchase agreement with UTE, Uruguay’s state-owned utility. The project will continue to be maintained by Enercon under a long-term agreement and asset management services continue to be delivered by SEG Heliotec.

Following the recent opening of its Latin American office in Santiago (Chile), this marks DIF’s first investment in Uruguay and fits well within DIF’s mandate as the investment is in an operational wind project with long-term contracted off-take.

Daniel Aninat, Managing Director and head of DIF’s South American operations added: “We are very pleased to acquire our first renewable energy project in South America. The transaction is the result of our strong relationship with Enercon and we believe this investment is attractive for DIF’s investors due to the long-term project agreements that provide a high degree of predictability of future cash flows.”

DIF has been advised by Voltiq (financial), Hughes & Hughes and Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (legal), DNV GL (technical), KPMG (tax) and Mazars (model audit). Enercon was advised by Ficus Capital.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with €6.0 billion of assets under management across eight closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas and Australasia through two complementary strategies:

  • DIF Infrastructure funds target equity investments in public-private partnerships (PPP/PFI/P3), concessions, utilities and renewable energy projects with long-term contracted or regulated income streams.
  • DIF CIF funds target equity investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in the energy, transportation and telecom sectors with mid-term contracted income streams.

DIF has a team of over 135 professionals, based in nine offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto. Please visit www.dif.eu for further information.

Contact:
Thijs Verburg, Investor Relations & Business Development
Email: t.verburg@dif.eu

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Tikehau Capital signs an agreement for the acquisition of Acek Energias Renovables’ biomass activities

Tikehau

Madrid, 20 December 2019 – Tikehau Capital, through its private equity fund dedicated to energy transition, has signed an agreement to invest in the biomass assets of Acek Energias Renovables.
The transaction, representing an enterprise value of €81m (in addition to earn-outs), is the first investment of Tikehau Capital’s private equity funds in Spain and aims at creating a leading pan-European integrated bioenergy player.
Acek Energias Renovables established in 2009 its biomass division, which is a vertically integrated platform focused on the engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of biomass energy plants (power, heat or combined heat and power), as well as the supply of biomass.

The transaction includes the 17MW biomass plant in Garray (Soria), several long-term operation and maintenance contracts in Spain and Portugal, as well as its industry-leading engineering business in Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz).
The acquired business employs over 120 people and generated a turnover of €64m in 2018.
Tikehau Capital seeks to accelerate the company’s growth, developing a robust pipeline of opportunities to create a leading bioenergy player focused on regulated and non-regulated markets. The company will continue to be led by Mr. Emilio López Carmona, who created and led the expansion of the biomass business of Acek Energias Renovables since 2009 and before that, Valoriza Energia.
This acquisition is made through Tikehau Capital’s Energy Transition Fund, a pan-European private equity fund focused on the development, transformation and international expansion of medium-sized energy transition companies across three verticals: Clean Energy Value Chain, Low Carbon Mobility and Energy Efficiency, Storage and Digitalisation.

Tikehau Capital’s first private equity deal in Spain
The acquisition is the first Private Equity transaction made by Tikehau Capital in Spain, representing a significant milestone and demonstrating its commitment to invest in this asset class in the region.
Emilio López Carmona, Head of the biomass division of Acek Energias Renovables said: “We share values and commitment with Tikehau Capital to face the challenge of a carbon neutral and sustainable economy. It is a very important step that will release the potential of our organization to provide integrated solutions in the bioenergy and circular economy sectors in Europe”.

Emmanuel Laillier, Head of Private Equity at Tikehau Capital, said: “We are delighted to invest in the biomass assets of Acek Energias Renovables. It is crucial that companies which can have a direct impact on the environment today have the necessary means to grow. Equity investment, which Tikehau Capital provides, is an effective way to support energy transition actors unlocking entire value chains by giving them the means to develop solutions to drive the decarbonisation of the energy sector”.
Carmen Alonso, Head of Iberia at Tikehau Capital, said: “We are pleased to invest in an integrated platform in the biomass sector in Spain and Portugal. The company enters a new phase supported by Tikehau Capital. Alongside its management team, we aim at creating a leading integrated bioenergy player”.

About Tikehau Capital:
Tikehau Capital is an asset management and investment group with €24.3bn of assets under management (as at 30 September 2019) and shareholders’ equity of €3.1bn (as at 30 June 2019). The Group invests in various asset classes (private debt, real estate, private equity and liquid strategies), including through its asset management subsidiaries, on behalf of institutional and private investors. Controlled by its managers, alongside leading institutional partners, Tikehau Capital employs more than 500 staff (as at 30 September 2019) in its Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, New York, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo offices.
Tikehau Capital is listed on the regulated market of Euronext Paris, Compartment A (ISIN code: FR0013230612; Ticker: TKO.FP)
www.tikehaucapital.com

Press Contacts:
Tikehau Capital: Julien Sanson +44 20 3821 1001
Finsbury: Arnaud Salla & Charles O’Brien +44 207 251 3801
press@tikehaucapital.com
Shareholders and Investors Contact:
Louis Igonet – +33 1 40 06 11 11
shareholders@tikehaucapital.com

Disclaimer
This transaction was carried out by TIKEHAU INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT SAS (on behalf of the funds that it manages), a portfolio management company approved by the AMF since 19/01/2007 under number GP-0700000006.
This document is not an offer of securities for sale or investment advisory services. This document contains general information only and is not intended to represent general or specific investment advice. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and targets are not guaranteed.
Certain statements and forecasted data are based on current expectations, current market and economic conditions, estimates, projections, opinions and beliefs of Tikehau Capital and/or its affiliates. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements or in any of the case studies or forecasts. All references to Tikehau Capital’s advisory activities in the US or with respect to US persons relates to Tikehau Capital North America.

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EQT completes sale of Contanda

eqt

  • EQT Infrastructure has sold Contanda, a premier provider of liquid bulk storage solutions in North America, to institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management
  • During EQT Infrastructure’s ownership, Contanda has experienced substantial growth, particularly in its core Gulf Coast and West Coast positions, and further professionalized operations via systems implementation and upgrades

The EQT Infrastructure II fund (“EQT” or “EQT Infrastructure”) today announced that it has completed the sale of Contanda LLC (“Contanda” or the “Company”) to institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Acquired in February 2013, Contanda is a premier provider of storage and customized storage related services to owners of bulk liquid products, with a strong market position in the petrochemical, renewable energy and agricultural commodity sectors. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Contanda has 15 terminals in North America with over seven million barrels of total storage capacity and approximately 275 employees. Contanda’s terminals are strategically located near deep water ports and transportation infrastructure, providing customers access to critical shipping lanes and distribution networks.

Together with the management team, EQT has supported Contanda in accelerating its growth trajectory. During EQT Infrastructure’s ownership, Contanda has strengthened its foothold by expanding capacity, enhancing product diversity, and strengthening operating capabilities. As part of increasing Contanda’s runway for continued future organic growth, EQT has supported the Company in adding new terminal sites in Houston and Stockton, which enable Contanda to progress towards its ambition of more than doubling its current capacity.

Jan Vesely, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, commented: “Contanda has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years. While significantly diversifying its product base and growing in key US markets, Contanda has built a culture of safe operations and uncompromising customer focus. With an experienced team and existing and new strategic assets in place, the Company is well-positioned to execute against the next phase of its growth plan.”

G.R. “Jerry” Cardillo, CEO of Contanda, said: “We have enjoyed a fantastic partnership with EQT over the past six years and have benefitted from their support, vision and vast experience in the bulk liquid storage business. With the support of EQT, Contanda has grown significantly, in terms of both our footprint and capabilities, and we look forward to working with our new partners as we continue on our growth journey.”

Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as legal advisor to Contanda and EQT Infrastructure.

Contact
Jan Vesely, Partner at EQT Partners and Investment Advisor to EQT Infrastructure, +1 917 281 0850
US media inquiries: Stephanie Greengarten, +1 646 687 6810, stephanie.greengarten@eqtpartners.com
International media inquiries: EQT Press Office, +46 8 506 55 334, press@eqtpartners.com

About EQT
EQT is a differentiated global investment organization with more than EUR 62 billion in raised capital and around EUR 41 billion in assets under management across 20 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 21 billion and approximately 127,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More info: www.eqtgroup.com
Follow EQT on Twitter and LinkedIn

About Contanda
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Contanda is a premier provider of storage and logistics services to owners of bulk liquid products in North America. The Company has over 7 million barrels of storage capacity across 15 terminals in North America. The business is focused on growth in the petrochemical, hydrocarbon, and renewable markets while maintaining a leading market position in the petroleum, chemical, agricultural commodity sectors.

More info: www.contanda.com

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InfraRed Capital Partners agrees on sale of its interest in Merkur Offshore Wind Farm, Germany

InfraRed Capital Partners

A consortium comprising of funds managed and/or advised by Partners Group (50%), InfraRed Capital Partners (25%), DEME Concessions (12.5%), GE Energy Financial Services (6.25%) and ADEME, acting on behalf of France “Investments for the Future” programme (6.25%) announced today that it has signed an agreement to sell 100% of Merkur Offshore GmbH, one of the largest operational wind farms in Germany, to APG, the Dutch pension investor and The Renewables Infrastructure Group Limited (“TRIG”) , the FTSE 250 London-listed investment company advised by InfraRed Capital Partners.

Merkur Offshore GmbH is a Hamburg-based company which has been responsible for the planning and construction of a 396-MW offshore wind farm located c. 45 kilometres north of Borkum Island in the German North Sea. The project comprising of 66 General Electric (“GE”) Haliade-150 6-MW offshore wind turbines was fully commissioned in June 2019. The project benefits from a guaranteed Feed-in-Tariff until 2033 and has a 10-year O&M agreement with GE Renewable Energy for the service and maintenance of the turbines.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and consent from lenders, and is expected to close in H1 2020.

BofA Securities acted as exclusive financial adviser to the selling consortium.

About InfraRed

InfraRed Capital Partners is a global investment manager focused on infrastructure and real estate. It operates worldwide from offices in Sydney, London, Hong Kong, New York, Seoul and Mexico City. With around 190 professionals, it manages US$12bn of equity capital in multiple private and listed funds, primarily for institutional investors across the globe. InfraRed Capital Partners is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

InfraRed implements best-in-class practices to underpin asset management and investment decisions, promotes ethical behaviour and has established community engagement initiatives to support good causes in the wider community. InfraRed is a signatory of the Principles of Responsible Investment and has been awarded A+ score in 2019 PRI assessment.

 

 

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Partners Group agrees the sale of its stake in Merkur Offshore, a 396MW German offshore wind farm development

Partners Group

Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has, on behalf of its clients, agreed to sell its stake in Merkur Offshore (“Merkur” or “the Asset”), a 396MW offshore wind farm located in the North Sea. Partners Group is the largest shareholder in a consortium of Merkur shareholders (“the Consortium”), which includes InfraRed Capital Partners, DEME Concessions, GE Energy Financial Services and ADEME. The Consortium has agreed to sell 100% of Merkur to APG, the Dutch pension investor, and The Renewables Infrastructure Group (“TRIG”), the London-listed investment company advised by InfraRed Capital Partners.

Partners Group, together with the Consortium, acquired Merkur in August 2016, in line with the firm’s relative value strategy of proactively building core assets. Over the last three years, the Asset has been transformed from a construction-ready development site to a utility-scale wind farm within the German exclusive economic zone off the North Sea coast. Now fully operational, Merkur comprises 66 General Electric (“GE”) Haliade-150 6MW offshore wind turbines, which are capable of supplying green energy to approximately 500,000 households. The project benefits from a guaranteed Feed-in-Tariff until 2033 and has a ten-year O&M agreement with GE Renewable Energy for the service and maintenance of the turbines.

Partners Group and the Consortium worked closely with Merkur’s management team over the last three years to create value, including delivering the construction in line with budget, optimizing the operations for the next 30 years, building a strong in-house team for Merkur and strengthening the capital structure with a refinancing.

David Daum, Senior Vice President, Private Infrastructure Europe, Partners Group, states: “We are very proud to have supported Merkur through its key value creation period, from development project to fully operational core asset. Renewable energy not only continues to be a transformative trend within the infrastructure asset class and an important component of Europe’s future energy security, but it is also a key focus of Partners Group’s infrastructure investment strategy.”

Since 2011, Partners Group has invested around USD 2.4 billion into renewable energy globally on behalf of its clients, primarily into wind and solar power projects. These projects have a total operational capacity of approximately 5.9GW, enough to power hundreds of thousands of households globally.

BofA Securities acted as exclusive financial adviser to the Consortium in the sale of Merkur.

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EWE sets course for further growth with investor Ardian

Ardian

Transaction comprises 26% of shares in EWE, one of Germany’s largest utility companies, emphasising Ardian’s focus on renewables, telecommunications and networks

Oldenburg / Paris / Düsseldorf, 6 December 2019 – EWE and EWE-Verband today agreed on the transfer of 26% of EWE AG’s shares to Ardian, the world-leading private investment house and long-term infrastructure investor. Once the transaction has been completed, the partners will work together to accelerate EWE’s growth, investing particularly in the strategic areas of renewable energy, telecommunications and networks. EWE and EWE-Verband had been gradually acquiring shares back from former partner EnBW since Autumn 2015 with plans to find a new investor. The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office, which is expected in the first quarter of 2020. The companies are not disclosing the financial details of the transaction. Once the transaction has been completed, the following companies will hold a stake in EWE AG: EWE-Verband, with 74% (59% Weser-Ems-Energiebeteiligungen GmbH, 15% Energieverband Elbe-Weser Beteiligungsholding GmbH) and Ardian with 26%.

Stefan Dohler, Chief Executive Officer of EWE AG, said: “With Ardian, we will have a strategic growth partner with extensive experience in the pan-European infrastructure sector with thinking just as long-term, prudent and sustainable as ours. It was important to us that the new investor supports EWE’s strategic goals and helps us on our path of change and growth with opportunities from its investment portfolio. We know where we intend to go. We continue to make progress with our move towards becoming an innovative solution provider, offering integrated services and products for energy, communication, networked data and mobility. We want to play an active role in shaping the climate-friendly and digitalised future of energy and communications, and set positive standards based on a position of regional strength. With its entrepreneurial approach to this path, Ardian is the strong partner we have been looking for.”

Heiner Schönecke, Managing Director of EWE-Verband, added: “Historically rooted in northwest Germany and with traditionally strong minority shareholders as long-term partners, EWE has grown into a company that has always made a major contribution to regional development. EWE retains close ties to the Ems/Weser/Elbe region via the districts and free cities that are part of EWE-Verband. One aspect that was important to us was that the new investor saw the company’s regional roots and local character as a strength. Ardian also offers access to further growth capital and innovative technologies.”

Bernhard Bramlage, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EWE AG, added: “Today’s agreement marks the successful completion of the structured process to transfer the EWE shares bought back from EnBW to an investor who supports EWE’s strategic objectives. At every stage of the process, everyone involved from EWE AG, EWE-Verband and the EWE Supervisory Board worked together to achieve a result that would translate into stability and further growth for the company, and I congratulate them on this achievement.”

Mathias Burghardt, member of Ardian’s Executive Committee and Head of Infrastructure at Ardian, added: “As Europe’s leading investor in infrastructure, we make long-term commitments to companies that play a key role in people’s everyday lives and actively promote the energy revolution. With its activities in the areas of energy, telecommunications, networks, data and mobility, EWE is leading the way in efforts to bring about the energy revolution, while at the same time taking into account the needs of all its stakeholders such as customers, employees and the region as a whole. Ardian fully supports EWE’s innovation-focused strategy.”

Benoît Gaillochet, Senior Managing Director in Ardian’s infrastructure team, added: “In addition to our role as co-shareholder, our stated objective is to develop our industrial partnership with EWE in the interest of EWE employees, society and the region. Together, we want to help shape the energy revolution. EWE is the ideal platform to achieve further growth and we look forward to making further investments with EWE.”

Michael Reuther, a Director in Ardian’s infrastructure team responsible for the shareholding in EWE, added: “EWE’s customers will benefit from targeted investments in cutting-edge infrastructure and top-quality products. EWE employees know that their jobs in a climate-friendly company are secure and attractive in the long term. Both the region and society can rely on a sustainable supplier with regional roots, access to growth capital and innovative technologies.”

Ardian is one of the world’s leading independent investment companies, managing US$96 billion in assets for its investors in Europe, South and North America and Asia, including over EUR 10 billion from 90 German pension funds and insurance companies. Its largest investor group in its latest fund, Ardian Infrastructure Fund V, is from Germany, representing more than 20% of the fund volume of EUR 6.1 billion. Furthermore, Talanx insurance group will support Ardian and EWE as a co-investor in Lower Saxony. For Ardian, its investment in EWE is the starting point for its plans to develop a German growth platform based in Düsseldorf, which will be managed by an experienced team of German managers.

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EWE AG

EWE is an innovative service provider active in the business areas of energy, telecommunications and information technology. With over 8,500 employees and sales of around EUR 5.7 billion in 2018, EWE is one of the largest utility companies in Germany. The company, based in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, is primarily owned by the local government. It provides electricity to around 1.4 million customers in northwest Germany, Brandenburg, the island of Rügen and parts of Poland, and supplies natural gas to almost 0.8 million customers. It also provides approximately 0.7 million customers with telecommunications services. To achieve this, the various companies in the EWE Group operate over 190,000 kilometres of electricity grid, natural gas grid and telecommunications networks. EWE intends to invest over EUR 1.2 billion in a comprehensive fibre-optic expansion over the coming years, creating the foundation for the digitalisation of northwest Germany.
More information on EWE can be found at:

EWE-Verband

The Ems-Weser-Elbe Versorgungs- und Entsorgungsverband (EWE-Verband) is an alliance formed of 21 municipalities in the Ems/Weser/Elbe region. Its core task is to safeguard the energy supply in the alliance’s region. EWE-Verband is the indirect majority shareholder of EWE AG through its investment companies. The alliance was created in 2006 following the merger of Landeselektrizitätsverband Oldenburg (LEV) and Energieverband Elbe-Weser (EEW). As an alliance, EWE-Verband is a public corporation as defined by Sections 7 et seq. of the Lower Saxony Act on Municipal Cooperation (NKomZG). 17 districts and four cities have been part of EWE-Verband since it was founded.
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Ardian

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$96bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base. Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world. Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 640 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,000 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.
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DIF Capital Partners invests in a portfolio of LNG assets

DIF

DIF Capital Partners, through its DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I (“DIF CIF I”), is pleased to announce that it has signed final documentation alongside ship-owner Geogas Maritime and Access Capital Partners for the acquisition of a 50% stake in a French incorporated company that will own and operate a fleet of five to-be-built LNG carriers. The remaining 50% will be held by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), a leading Japanese shipping and logistics company.

The five 174,000 cbm vessels will be built by leading South Korean shipyards and equipped with state-of-the-art LNG fuelled propulsion technology, resulting in best-in-class environmental performance. The first ship is expected to become operational in April 2020. All five ships will fly the French flag. The vessels will be chartered to a large French and a large European utility under long-term contracts and will be project financed under a customary French lease structure.

Thomas Vieillescazes, Head of France, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for DIF CIF I to invest in high quality assets and grow DIF’s footprint into the expanding LNG sector alongside strong and experienced counterparties. We’re also very proud to participate in a strategic project for the further development of the French LNG sector”.

About DIF Capital Partners

DIF is an independent infrastructure fund manager, with €6.0 billion of assets under management across seven closed-end infrastructure funds and several co-investment vehicles. DIF invests in greenfield and brownfield infrastructure assets located primarily in Europe, the Americas and Australasia through two complementary strategies:

  • DIF Infrastructure funds target equity investments in public-private partnerships (PPP/PFI/P3), concessions, utilities and renewable energy projects with long-term contracted or regulated income streams.
  • DIF CIF funds target equity investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in the energy, transportation and telecom sectors with mid-term contracted income streams.

DIF has a team of over 135 professionals, based in nine offices located in Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Paris, Santiago, Sydney and Toronto. Please visit www.dif.eu for further information.

Contact:
Allard Ruijs, Partner
Email: a.ruijs@dif.eu

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