Ardian, former AXA Private Equity, is to acquire an additional 5 % equity stake in the CLH Group, the Spanish oil products and storage company, from Compañía Española de Petróleos (CEPSA).
The closing of the transaction is expected before the end of this year.
With this investment, Ardian will become the largest shareholder in the company, increasing its shareholding to 15 %. Ardian became a shareholder in CLH in 2011 with the acquisition of a 10 % stake.
CLH is the owner and operator of the largest Spanish oil products and storage network. It has more than 4,000 km of pipeline and seven million cubic metres of storage capacity, including strategic national reserves.Ardian raised €1.75 billion ($2.3 billion) for investments in European infrastructure in March 2013 through its Axa Infrastructure Fund III.The fund looks for deals in the gas and electricity grid and renewable energy sectors, as well as road and rail assets, but will steer clear of ports because they are too cyclical. It has no specific regional preference, with a focus on asset quality rather than sub-sector or country.
Mathias Burghardt, head of infrastructure at Ardian, stated:
The investments recently completed by our team demonstrate the quality of the current European deal pipeline in infrastructure. We will continue to focus on core infrastructure assets and securing proprietary deal flow through our extensive European network. This additional investment in CLH is further evidence of Ardian's long-term commitment to supporting quality and successful companies.