Allianz Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), through its wholly owned subsidiary, CPP Investment Board Europe S.à r.l., have signed an agreement with Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) to acquire a 20% minority equity interest in its gas distribution business in Spain (GNDB).
Allianz Capital Partners, on behalf of the Allianz Group, and CPPIB will invest €1,500 million (US$1,768 million) for the 20% equity interest. The equity investments for Allianz Capital Partners and CPPIB are €600 million (US$707 million) and €900 million (US$1,060 million), respectively.
Allianz Capital Partners and CPPIB are long-term infrastructure investors with significant experience investing in regulated utilities, including the gas sector, and with a strong track-record of partnering with strategic investors in infrastructure businesses.
GNDB is the largest gas distribution network in Spain with more than 5.3 million connection points and serving some 1,100 municipalities. It serves a geographically diversified residential and industrial customer base across Spain, providing its customers with access to a cost-efficient, reliable and environmentally friendly source of energy. Post transaction, GNF will continue to own an 80% equity shareholding in GNDB, which will remain a core part of GNF's portfolio.
Completion of the transaction, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals, is expected by January 2018.
Christian Fingerle, Chief Investment Officer at Allianz Capital Partners, said:
"GNDB represents an attractive opportunity for our customers and is fully aligned with our investment strategy of investing in core infrastructure assets. We are very pleased to be entering into a new partnership with GNF as a leading international energy group and look forward to further strengthening our relationship with GNF and CPPIB and to support the continued success of this high quality business."
Cressida Hogg, Managing Director, Global Head of Infrastructure, CPPIB, said:
"GNDB is a core infrastructure asset that fits well with CPPIB's infrastructure portfolio, providing long-term stable cash flows for the CPP Fund. We look forward to establishing an enduring partnership with GNF and Allianz in this world-class business, and in adding to our investments in Spain."
Commenting on this agreement, Rafael Villaseca Marco, Chief Executive of GNF, said:
"GNDB is a premium asset in the gas sector in Spain and essential part of our investment strategy. We welcome the opportunity to partner with these two well renowned long-term infrastructure investors and continue to invest in further expanding the gas network in Spain and maintaining high efficiency of operations and quality of customer service."