A consortium comprising Italian investment group Fondi Italiani per le Infrastrutture (F2i) and European private equity firm AXA Private Equity has agreed to acquire Italian gas distributor G6 Rete Gas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GDF Suez Energia Italia.
The deal is valued at €772m and is funded by a committed line of credit provided by Banca IMI and Unicredit.
The deal follows energy-related investments in Enel Rete Gas in September 2009 and its recent acquisition of E.On Rete in April 2011. According to the consortium it reaffirms its position as the main independent operator in the Italian natural gas distribution market, with a 17 per cent market share in terms of customers managed and second only to the Eni group.
G6 Rete Gas operates 474 concessions and provides natural gas to approximately 990,000 customers across Italy (particularly in Puglia, which accounts for 32 percent of total customers), through a grid of approximately 15,159 kilometres.
In 2010 the company had revenues of €160m and an EBITDA of €82m, reflecting a significant improvement in terms of revenues (up 11 per cent on previous year) and an EBITDA margin (up 3.2 per cent compared with the previous year).
Following the combination with E.On Rete and G6 Rete Gas, Enel Rete Gas will manage a pool of approximately 3.8 million customers.
The consortium is 75 per cent owned by F2i and 25 per cent owned by AXA Private Equity.
It said it intends to complete the acquisition of G6 Rete Gas through Enel Rete Gas, with the objective to have the latter combine all the assets of the F2 Reti Italia group (a vehicle held by the consortium, which owns an 80 per cent equity interest in Enel Rete Gas) in the gas distribution sector.
With offices in Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York, Singapore, Milan, Zurich and Vienna, AXA Private Equity has $25bn in assets under management.
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