CLH ownership reshuffled again as MIRA buys out AMP

The Australian firm has taken a 20% stake less than two months after the oil storage company unveiled an €830m expansion plan.

Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 has bought a 20 percent stake in Spanish oil pipeline and storage owner CLH after buying shares from compatriot AMP Capital and Oman Oil.

The €4 billion fund acquired a 10 percent ownership from each investor for an undisclosed amount, sealing AMP Capital’s exit from the firm it entered in 2008. Oman Oil had held its share since 2003.

The transaction will give Macquarie access to over 6,000km of oil pipelines in Spain and the UK, in addition to more than 9 million cubic metres across 56 storage facilities in the two countries. CLH is also the owner of a fuel storage terminal at Dublin Airport while a storage facility and a pipeline of nearly 300km are currently being developed in Oman.

“CLH is a quality infrastructure business in a growing economy, benefitting from resilient, well diversified, inflation-linked and largely contracted revenues,” said Martin Stanley, global head of Macquarie infrastructure and real assets.

The deal comes after CLH unveiled an investment plan at the end of March which will see it disburse €830 million between 2017 and 2021, primarily to support international expansion. The company said at the time that over €130 million would be spent on the development of further projects in the UK, Ireland and Oman, with nearly €300 million allocated to improving infrastructure in Spain.

A further €400 million will be spent on investing in new countries, although these are yet to be identified. CLH expects the investment plan to boost its EBITDA from €76 million at the end of 2016 to €464 million by 2021.

Macquarie’s 20 percent ownership makes it the third-largest shareholder in CLH, behind Borealis (24.77 percent) and CVC Capital Partners (25 percent). Ardian was for a short while the company’s largest shareholder, when it paid €325 million in 2015 to increase its stake from 15 percent to 25 percent. The French firm now owns 15 percent, after selling 10 percent to CVC last month.

CLH is bound by Spanish competition law which restricts any individual shareholder from owning more than 25 percent of the company.