Quad Gas Group consortium buys National Grid’s gas distribution networks

The Quad Gas Group consortium that has agreed to acquire a 61% interest in National Grid’s gas distribution network (GDN).

The consortium is made up of UK and international institutional investors, including International Public Partnerships Limited, Allianz Capital Partners, Dalmore Capital Limited, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, CIC Capital Corporation, Hermes Investment Management and Qatar Investment Authority. 

The terms of the sale imply an value for National Grid Gas Distribution of approximately £13.8 billion. On completion, National Grid is set to receive a payment of £3.6 billion in cash from the consortium (subject to adjustments) and will own a 39% minority equity interest in a new holding company for NGGD (“GasD HoldCo”). In addition, National Grid will receive £1.8 billion from additional debt financing.
Infrastructure investment company International Public Partnerships Limited expects to invest up to £275 million, with the remaining risk capital funded by the other consortium partners. International Public Partnerships told the stock exchange that the networks are “well-established, predictable, and strongly cash yielding businesses”.

The consortium will now work with National Grid and other stakeholders to complete the regulatory process necessary to close the deal. It’s expected the sale will complete towards the end of the first quarter of 2017. 

John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, said: ”On completion, National Grid’s portfolio will be rebalanced towards higher growth assets, whilst maintaining a strong balance sheet and supporting our sustainable dividend policy.”

Martin Stanley, Global Head of MIRA, on behalf of the consortium said: ”This is a well-established business and we are confident that as investors we can continue to provide both high quality infrastructure for the UK and appropriate risk-adjusted returns for investors. MIRA has long standing operational experience in managing utilities and critical infrastructure in the UK, across Europe and around the world and we are committed to being a long term investor in and a responsible custodian of National Grid Gas Distribution.”

Rupert Dorey, chairman of International Public Partnership said: ”INPP’s participation in the consortium to acquire National Grid’s gas distribution business offers the Company additional opportunities for highly attractive risk-adjusted returns with strong inflation protection to compliment those it already generates from its existing portfolio. The acquisition is fully in line with our strategy to strengthen the quality of our portfolio and enhance further the inflation protection it continues to offer.”

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