Four infra funds line up for Endesa sale

AXA Private Equity, Antin Infrastructure Partners, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie have expressed an initial interest in buying Spanish utility Endesa’s gas network in a deal that could be worth over €700m. Binding bids are expected in mid-September.

Four well-known infrastructure funds have expressed an initial interest in buying Spanish utility Endesa’s gas network, a source familiar with the deal told Infrastructureinvestor.com.

Endesa sent teasers in late April to prospective bidders for the sale of its 4,000-kilometre gas distribution network – which serves over 397,000 customers across Spain – as well as its gas transportation business, spanning over 800 kilometres of pipelines throughout the country.

The four candidates include infrastructure funds managed by AXA Private Equity, Antin Infrastructure Partners, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie, the source said. Fulvio Conti, chief executive of Enel, which owns 92 percent of Endesa, said last week there were four candidates bidding for the network sale but declined to elaborate on their identity. Reuters is reporting that binding bids are now expected by September 13.

Endesa’s gas business is said to have generated 2009 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of about €58.4 million, Reuters reports. Assuming Endesa could get between 10x to 13x EBIDTA, it could sell the assets for between €584 million and €760 million. But another source involved in the deal had previously suggested the latter figure was towards the more optimistic end of the assets’ enterprise value.