iCON bets on Dutch port terminals

The deal comes a few months after the firm reached a final close on its second fund.

London-based investment firm iCON Infrastructure (iCON) has acquired 32 percent of Verbrugge International, a Dutch owner and operator of port terminals.

iCON will provide funds for the business’s future development, with no changes expected to its executive management team and workforce. Martin Verbrugge, president and chief executive officer of the company, will remain the majority owner of Verbrugge.

The company’s key assets comprise four tri-modal port terminals located in Terneuzen, Vlissingen and Zeebrugge on the Scheldt Estuary. The group also manages ancillary warehousing, marine and logistics businesses, and its core products include pulp and paper, fertilisers, minerals, steel and various metals.

It operates on an area of 277 hectares with 4.8 km of quay and more than 1 million square metres of warehouses.

The deal will be financed by iCON’s Fund II, which reached its final close on €461.12 million last April. The vehicle, which was believed to have a €500 million target, included commitments from around 20 limited partners (LPs) from around the world.

iCON was established in 2011, when it spun out from Deutsche Bank to specialise in mid-market equity financing in energy, transport, and water projects in Europe and North America. Its management team is led by Paul Malan, who joined Deutsche Bank from Macquarie in 2004 to set up its infrastructure unit.

The team’s first fund took stakes in businesses including UK rolling stock company Porterbrook, UK utility Sutton and East Surrey Water, the US’ Mountaineer Gas Company and Spanish pipeline and storage firm CLH. In a similar fashion to its successor, the vehicle had around €500 million to deploy in the form of a traditional blind pool fund plus managed accounts.