Whitehelm hails mid-market after Dutch oil storage deal

The investment comes shortly after the firm sold its managed share in LBC Tank Terminals.

Australia-based investor Whitehelm Capital has sealed an oil storage deal in the Netherlands on behalf of two unnamed pension funds.

The firm bought 90 percent of Vopak Terminal Eemshaven from local company Vopak and the 2007-vintage NIBC European Infrastructure Fund I, with the former set to retain a 10 percent stake.

The asset comprises 11 tanks with a total storage capacity of 684,025 cubic metres and benefits from long-term off-taker arrangements. The terminal was originally built in 2011 at a cost of about $121 million, financed through 17-year term loans alongside shorter, smaller facilities. Whitehelm’s deal also included a refinancing of existing debt facilities.

“Strategic storage plays a key role in the European energy infrastructure value chain and is an essential asset in the implementation of a resilient and sustainable long-term energy strategy,” said Graham Matthews, Whitehelm’s chief investment officer. “While large trophy assets sold through competitive auctions are attracting very high prices, the mid-market continues to provide good investment opportunities for investors seeking stable returns from true infrastructure assets.”

Matthews added that the firm looks forward to further investments in the sector. It previously managed a 35 percent stake in the Belgium-based LBC Tank Terminals on behalf of Australian funds State Super and Sunsuper, before completing a sale to Ardian earlier this month.