Antin Infrastructure acquires stake in oil company

The BNP Paribas-sponsored infrastructure fund has acquired about a third of the Pisto Group from several of Macquarie’s infrastructure funds. Pisto is a holding company for three oil storage and transportation operators in France.

BNP Paribas-sponsored fund Antin Infrastructure Partners has acquired about a third of the Pisto Group, a holding company active in the oil storage sector in France, a source close to the deal said.

Pisto: Antin's
fourth deal

The seller is Macquarie – through several of its infrastructure funds – and the sale comes just over a year after the Australian investment group acquired full control of Pisto. The transaction is still waiting for regulatory approval from the European Commission.

Pisto is a holding company that has full control of the Compagnie Industrielle Maritime (CIM), which holds the concession to operate two oil terminals at Le Havre port, in northern France, and their oil storage facilities; 100 percent of Compagnie Commerciale de Manutencion Petroliere (CCMP), which owns and operates oil storage and distribution facilities in the Paris area and the west of France; and 32 percent of TRAPIL, the owner of the oil pipeline network between Le Havre, Paris, Orleans and Tours. TRAPIL also operates several refined product pipelines across France.

The holding company holds a significant presence in the downstream oil logistics sector in France with the storage capacity of CIM and CCMP reaching six million units of coalbed methane (cbm). Both companies also handle some 45 million tons of refined oil products while TRAPIL transports 20 million tons of refined oil per year.

Macquarie did not disclose how much it paid for Pisto in October 2008 but several banks were involved in the deal and are said to have provided Macquarie with a seven-year loan of around €420 million.

The investment will be Antin Infrastructure Partners’ fourth and follows the acquisition of ports operator Euroports from Australian investor Babcock & Brown. The infrastructure fund also owns a stake in a Croatian motorway concessionaire and is a member of the consortium that acquired Porterbrook, the UK’s second largest rolling-stock company in October 2008. Its target size is €1 billion and since it launched in July 2008 it has raised €500 million for European investments. The fund started with a seed investment from BNP Paribas of €300 million.