Cube doubles down on Nordic bus deals with Mekka buy

The group’s second fund makes its third acquisition, taking a 60% stake in the Swedish transport company.

Cube Infrastructure Fund II has made its second bus investment in the Nordics with the acquisition of a majority stake in Swedish operator Mekka Traffic.

Through the deal made by its second fund, Luxembourg-based Cube Infrastructure Managers will take a 60 percent share of the previously family-owned company. It follows the fund’s debut investment in March, when it secured an 85 percent stake in Danish bus operator Umove.

Mekka Traffic is the fifth largest bus operator in Sweden, with a fleet of about 1,250 buses – of which around 20 percent runs on biogas or as hybrid vehicles. Goran Mellstrom, the company’s founder and chief executive, will remain in his post.

“The industry is experiencing an exciting time, where technology development is raging rapidly, including the focus on electrification in public transport,” Mellstrom said. “In addition, the tourism industry is the industry in the world which is growing fastest. It creates many opportunities and with more resources we can vigorously assume the challenges we face.”

The Mekka Traffic deal comes a week after the Cube fund secured an investment in dst telecomunicacoes, a Portuguese fibre network operator, in which the pair will attempt to establish a network covering 500,000 residential premises by 2020 – a target that will increase dst’s coverage by 50 percent. Cube also stated plans to expand internationally with dst.

Cube Infrastructure Fund II is targeting fundraising of up to €1.2 billion and held a €358.8 million first close last year. The fund will typically invest in ticket sizes of between €50 million and €100 million.