London, 20 September, 2016 - EISER Infrastructure Partners, (“EISER”), announced that it reached financial close in one of its portfolio companies, Società Gasdotti Italia S.p.A. ("SGI"). The company has been sold to Sole Bidco S.p.A., an Italy-based subsidiary of Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 (“MEIF4”) and Swiss Life Asset Managers.
SGI is an independent transport system operator in the gas sector in Italy, owning and operating an integrated network of high pressure natural gas pipelines with a length of ca. 1,500 km (over 4% of the Italian network).
Sole Bidco S.p.A. is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets through its Italian-based subsidiary of Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 (“MEIF4”), and by Swiss Life Asset Managers through Swiss Life Funds (Lux) Global Infrastructure Opportunities II ("SL GIO II").
A binding preliminary agreement between the parties, signed earlier in the year was conditional on European antitrust clearance as well as Italian Government’s golden power procedures – both conditions have now been fulfilled.
Commenting on the deal Hans Meissner, EISER’s Managing Partner, stated: “We are pleased with the conclusion of the sale and are confident that the new owners will continue steady stewardship of this important infrastructure asset for Italy. EISER believes that SGI remains an excellently managed company with a strong position in the Italian market.
“EISER, at the end of 2015, concluded that advantageous credit conditions and the scarcity of this type of investment opportunity combined, signaled a favourable time for a divestiture of SGI, specifically for EISER Global Infrastructure Fund investors (“EGIF”).”
The sale represented approximately a 2x cash multiple for EISER’s investors in EGIF.
Hans Meissner said: “It is important to recoginize that EGIF formally reaches maturity in 2019. Therefore, we are assessing how to balance creating liquidity for our investors at an optimal market value today. This may be on a portfolio or individual basis – like the SGI transaction; or by creating an opportunity for those investors that may want to hold the portfolio for the long term.
“Currently, our managed assets form a well-diversified portfolio, which are in a good position to provide both yield and upside for the next 10 to 15 years.”
EISER was advised by Citi Investment Bank and the law firm Paul Hastings.