InfraVia invests in France’s Régaz

The French manager has bought a stake in the country's largest independent gas distribution company, just a few weeks after snapping up a local electricity network in Finland.

InfraVia has acquired 24 percent of Bordeaux-based Régaz from Dalkia, a subsidiary of French utilities Veolia and EDF.

The deal will see the Paris-headquartered fund manager become a major shareholder in the largest independent gas distribution business in the country.

Régaz is the regulated network of the city of Bordeaux, the ninth-largest in France, as well as 45 neighbouring municipalities. With a regulated asset base (RAB) of around €265 million, it operates a network of 3,315 kilometres and 210,000 points of delivery.

Majority-owned by the municipality of Bordeaux, Régaz is said to generate more than €7 million in annual profits. Although no financial details were disclosed for the transaction, the deal has been reported in the local press to be worth around €46.5 million.

The acquisition will be funded by InfraVia European fund II, its second European infrastructure vehicle, which reached its €400 million target last August. InfraVia is currently seeking to push this number to €600 million.

During the first quarter of 2012, the firm also launched a €100 million to €200 million French infrastructure fund, in partnership with local firms Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild and NGE. The vehicle will focus on small regional public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

The firm’s maiden fund is its 2008-vintage, €200 million Fund I. The vehicle, which comprises 12 assets, is now fully invested.