Allianz, Macquarie lead €3.5bn purchase of Elenia

The sale by 3i Infrastructure and Goldman Sachs ends an almost two-year search for a buyer for the Finnish electricity distribution operator.

Allianz Capital Partners and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets are to buy Finnish electricity distribution company Elenia in a deal understood to be worth €3.5 billion.

The pair have each taken a 45 percent share in the business, while Finland’s state pension fund Valtion Eläkerahasto has acquired a 10 percent stake. Macquarie’s share is believed to have been purchased through its new Super Core fund, which it expects to raise at least €1.5 billion for by the middle of next year, although the firm declined to comment on this.

The trio bought the company from two Goldman Sachs funds – GS Global Infrastructure Partners II and GS International Infrastructure Partners II – which owned a combined 45 percent. The London-listed 3i Infrastructure held a 39.3 percent share and managed an additional 5.6 percent on behalf of TIAA-CREF. The remainder was owned by Finland’s Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company.

The parties involved declined to disclose the purchase price, although sources have indicated an enterprise value of €3.5 billion, while 3i Infrastructure said it received gross proceeds for its stake of about £725 million ($973.5 million; €823 million), with the asset valued in its portfolio at £498 million. The group, alongside Goldman Sachs and Ilmarinen, paid an enterprise value of €1.5 billion for Elenia in 2012.

3i Infrastructure first announced a strategic review of its ownership was taking place in January 2016. Elenia was described by 3i Infrastructure in its half-yearly report to September 2017 as having “consistently outperformed”. 3i Infrastructure’s valuation of the company grew by £85 million from March to September.

Elenia’s electricity distribution network is about 69,000km in length and its 16 district heating networks cover almost 500km.