Infracapital takes €70m stake in Dutch heating firm

The British fund manager has bought a majority stake in Eteck, its second investment in the Netherlands.

Infracapital has invested €70 million in Netherlands-based utility Eteck Energie Bedrijven to enable its “ambitious” plans for expansion in the Dutch heating market.

The firm has bought 60 percent of Eteck, which provides heating and cooling to both residential and commercial customers. Eteck said Infracapital’s commitment will allow it to make large-scale investments in heating plants in new buildings, growing its base from 25,000 to 100,000 connections in the Netherlands over the coming years.

The Dutch company added that its focus in the short-term will be growth through new installations, with the market for replacing older systems to be addressed at a later date. Earlier this year, Eteck spent €10 million to acquire the heating arm of Dutch solar firm Greenspread, a deal which received debt financing from TDP, an infrastructure joint venture between Belgian bank Belfius and private equity firm Gimv.

“We are confident that the competitive capital that Infracapital brings to the agreement, coupled with the continued flexibility to operate our business will help us to realise our ambitious goals,” said Jaap van Eck, founder of Eteck. Van Eck added that Infracapital was chosen “following a thorough search” for new equity.

The investment has been made through the £1 billion ($1.3 billion; €1.1 billion) Infracapital Partners II fund, which closed in 2014. The fund’s previous deal came in May when it bought Polish gas distribution company Duon Dystrybucia. It has already realised two of its investments in Calvin Capital and Affinity Water, selling to KKR and a consortium of Allianz, DIF and HICL respectively.