SL Capital in double Nordic gas deal

The investment is the first by the UK asset manager's debut infrastructure fund, which it is currently raising with a £500m target.

Edinburgh-headquartered SL Capital Partners has agreed to purchase 100 percent of Gasum Paikallisjakelu Oy and Helsingin Kaupunkikaasu Oy, two Finnish gas network owners and operators, from domestic gas distributor Gasum.
Gasum Paikallisjakelu Oy is in charge of local gas network operations in 12 areas of the country, while Helsingin Kaupunkikaasu owns the gas network that supplies Helsinki. Gasum will give up ownership of both businesses upon completion of the transaction, but will keep supply contracts with gas customers, the company said in a statement.

Signed today, the transaction is expected to be completed within one week.

SL Capital will acquire the networks through SL Capital Infrastructure I fund (SLCI), its debut infrastructure vehicle, in what marks SLCI's maiden deal. Focused on core UK and Northern European assets, the vehicle has so far raised money from UK, Canadian and European pension funds. 

The firm declined to comment on whether SLCI had hit a first close, but said that there was “available capital” to make the investment through the fund. 
At least 75 percent of the vehicle is to be deployed in direct deals and co-investments, with up to 25 percent available for opportunistic secondary fund investments. The vehicle has an initial target of £500 million (€694 million; $791 million).
Gasum described the transaction as a step in its strategic move to develop the Nordic gas market and energy infrastructure through environmentally friendly solutions. The company is investing in liquefied natural gas distribution infrastructure, it said in the statement, and is working on growing the market for Finnish and renewable biogas.