A consortium of funds managed by Macquarie Group has agreed to acquire an additional 15 percent stake in RWE Grid Holding, the largest natural gas distribution network in the Czech Republic, from German utility RWE.
The transaction will bring the total shareholding owned by the consortium, which comprises majority investor Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 (MEIF4) and another Macquarie-managed vehicle, to 49.96 percent.
Macquarie initially invested in the business in 2012, when it bought minority stakes in Czech gas grids from Germany's E.ON, France's GDF Suez and Slovak gas utility SPP and swapped them for a 35 percent stake in RWE Grid Holding, a company created to bundle together four regional gas distribution networks.
RGH owns and operates approximately 80 per cent of the country’s gas distribution network, with approximately 64,500 kilometres of gas pipeline, more than 2.3 million connection points and a regulated asset base of over €1.5 billion.
“Following a successful and active partnership with RWE in this venture, we are delighted to be able to increase our investment in RGH. We look forward to working closely with RWE to ensure the network continues to deliver a secure and reliable gas service for its customers throughout the Czech Republic,” said Edward Beckley, European head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.
Still subject to approval by the supervisory board of RWE, the transaction is expected to close next month.
RWE Grid Holding was the second asset backed by MEIF4, which also includes Open Grid Europe, the largest regulated gas transmission network in Germany. The fund reached its final close in May 2013 on €2.75 billion.