EQT buys majority of Dutch oil storage business

The infrastructure arm of EQT, the Swedish private equity firm, has acquired a majority stake in Argos Terminals, the storage and terminals business of Rotterdam-based oil and energy company Argos Group. EQT will aim to double the storage capacity of the firm over the next few years.

Swedish fund manager EQT Infrastructure has formed a strategic alliance with Dutch oil company Argos Group which involves the acquisition of a majority stake in Argos Terminals, Argos Group’s storage and terminals business, for an undisclosed amount. Argos Group will retain a minority stake.

Argos Terminals is currently the fourth-largest independent mineral oil storage terminal operator at the Port of Rotterdam, with an 8 percent market share. In a statement, EQT expressed its ambition to more than double the firm’s storage capacity for various oil products over the next few years from 650,000 cubic metres to around 1.5 million cubic metres, mainly through the construction of new capacity.

“As oil is increasingly being refined at source, supply of refined products is growing steadily,” noted Argos Terminals chief executive Roland Pechtold in the statement. “Rotterdam is the main port and distribution centre for oil products in Europe and is more and more becoming an energy hub.”

The statement noted the recently announced merger talks between Argos Group and fellow Dutch oil business North Sea Group, which is expected to complete later this year. It said that Argos Terminals “is an essential link in the logistics system of this new combination and the participation of EQT Infrastructure…guarantees the realisation of our expansion plans and improves the competitiveness of the combination.”

The deal is the second this year in which EQT Infrastructure has acquired a storage firm based at Rotterdam. In February, it acquired a majority stake in Koole Tanktransport, North-Western Europe’s largest independent storage terminal operator for edible oils and fats, biofuels, oleochemicals and vegetable oils.

The Argos Terminals transaction is expected to complete by the end of next month, pending regulatory approval from the Dutch Competition Authority and the completion of consultations with unions.

Last month, EQT Infrastructure acquired Acciona Aparcamientos, a Spanish car park operator, for €180 million – a deal which was expected to result in its €1.2 billion fund being about 60 percent invested.