Swiss Life invests in Pisto ahead of €1.2bn fund close

The deal is the sixth investment for GIO II, ending Macquarie’s almost 10-year interest in the French oil storage company.

Insurance group Swiss Life has bought a 24.3 percent stake in French oil storage firm Pisto through its Global Infrastructure Opportunities II fund.

The move for Pisto is the sixth investment for Swiss Life’s GIO II fund, following deals including a €430 million transaction for Swiss Towers in May and investments in toll roads in Poland and Portugal. It also invested alongside Macquarie to buy Italian gas pipeline operator Società Gasdotti Italia from Eiser in 2016.

The fund is expected to reach a €1.2 billion final close in the second quarter of this year and the 25-year vehicle is aiming for returns of between 6 percent and 8 percent.

The shares were bought from the Lombard Odier Macquarie Infrastructure Fund, the last of several Macquarie funds to exit after a group of managed vehicles bought full control of Pisto in 2008.

Swiss Life has become Pisto’s second-largest shareholder through the latest deal. Credit Agricole insurance subsidiary Predica became the largest in February last year when it bought 40.1 percent from Macquarie. Antin had sold its 35.6 percent share to Macquarie in July 2016.

Pisto is the third-largest crude oil storage operator in North-West Europe, which includes the ownership of three crude oil port terminals and seven distribution depots in France.

The GIO II fund is a successor to the 2013-vintage Global Infrastructure Opportunities I fund, which raised €1.1 billion and made 11 investments, including a 87.5MW UK wind portfolio.