EQT acquires Norwegian port

The Swedish firm’s Infrastructure II fund has bought Mongstad Supply Base, which serves the North Sea oil and gas industry.

EQT, the Northern European fund manager, has acquired the Mongstad Supply Base (Mongstad) from Wimoh Invest, a company owned and controlled by Norway’s Mohn family, for an undisclosed sum.

Located near Bergen, Norway, Mongstad is a leading oil and gas port close to an area with high offshore activity. It owns land, buildings, storage facilities, piping, roads, quays and other infrastructure and handles more than 280,000 tonnes per year. The base supports 20 producing oil and gas installations in the North Sea.

Established in 1984 as a supply base for Norsk Hydro, the Norwegian aluminium firm, it has invested heavily in port infrastructure, including land and buildings. It owns more than 600,000 square metres of developed land and 750 metres of quay, accommodating more than 2,500 ship arrivals per year.

Statoil, a tenant of the port, has recently announced new sailing routes in order to achieve cost and environmental savings, which are expected to almost double volumes at the port once fully implemented by the end of this year.

EQT says it will invest in new infrastructure and land at the base as well as acquiring infrastructure at other supply bases and acquiring other infrastructure assets and properties with similar characteristics.

The firm has appointed two new directors for Mongstad: Thor Hakstad, a former senior executive at Norsk Hydro, and Tore Thorstensen, chairman of AF Gruppen, the Norwegian industrial firm, and HusCompagniet, a Danish house-builder which was acquired by EQT in July this year.

Masoud Homayoun, director at EQT Partners, described Mongstad as “an excellent platform investment, with the key characteristics EQT is looking for: strong market position, hard assets, very long-term contracts with strong counterparties and, most importantly, development potential”.

The investment was made from the EQT Infrastructure II fund, which launched in 2013 with €1.9 billion in capital. The firm’s debut infrastructure fund, which launched in 2008 with €1.2 billion, is fully invested.

In May this year, Fund II acquired the remaining 49 percent stake in EEW Energy from Waste, the German energy-from-waste firm, having previously acquired 51 percent in March 2013. The previous month, it acquired WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems, the North American laundry services business.