Macquarie, Swiss Life acquire Italian gas pipeline

The deal concludes a six-month sale process by UK-based Eiser, which nets over double the price it paid for the gas operator in 2007.

Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 and Swiss Life Asset Managers have sealed a deal to buy Italian gas pipeline operator Società Gasdotti Italia.

The pair acquired SGI through their Italian subsidiary Sole Bidco from London-based asset manager Eiser Infrastructure. The deal, originally agreed in June, was allowed to close following approval from the European Commission and the Italian government. Eiser first kicked off the sale in March.

Formed in 2004, SGI was bought by Global Infrastructure Fund, owned by Dutch bank ABN Amro, in 2007 for €300 million. ABN spinout Eiser then took control of the fund in 2010.
In a statement, the firm said the sale of SGI to Macquarie and Swiss Life will generate just over double cash returns for investors.

“Eiser, at the end of 2015, concluded that advantageous credit conditions and the scarcity of this type of investment opportunity combined signalled a favourable time for a divestiture of SGI,” managing partner Hans Meissner said.

SGI owns and operates an integrated network of high-pressure natural gas pipelines in Italy covering more than 4 percent of the Italian network.

Earlier this month, Macquarie reached a €4 billion final close on its European Infrastructure Fund 5, set to have a similar focus to its previous offering.