EQT consolidates Swedish natural gas sector

A €110m add-on acquisition from utility E.ON gives EQT ownership of Sweden’s entire high-pressure natural gas transmission grid, running over 620km.

A unit of EQT Infrastructure, the infrastructure fund of Swedish private equity firm EQT, has acquired a high-pressure gas grid in Sweden from utility E.ON, making the firm the sole owner of the Scandinavian country’s entire high-pressure natural gas transmission network.

The acquisition, which market sources value at around SEK1 billion (€110 million, $160 million), was made through EQT Infrastructure subsidiary Swedgas, the country’s main gas transmission operator. EQT Infrastructure bought Swedgas in early 2010 for a reported €200 million. 

E.ON Gas Sverige – as E.ON's Swedish gas network is known – operates 230 kilometers of gas pipelines and “ancillary facilities for energy gas transmission”, business law firm Mannheimer Swartling, which advised E.ON on the deal, said in a statement. 

E.ON's Swedish gas grid will complement the 390 kilometers of high-pressure gas pipelines that EQT Infrastructure already owns thanks to its acquisition of Swedgas, its first Swedish infrastructure deal. Swedgas' network is located in the south and west of Sweden, including the only interconnection between Sweden and Denmark and the extended European gas network. Swedgas’ main clients are large industries.

EQT Infrastructure launched in 2008 with capital commitments of €1.2 billion. The fund has been busy on the acquisitions trail this year, recently purchasing a majority stake in Argos terminals, a Dutch oil storage and terminals business. 

It has also bought Acciona Aparcamientos, a Spanish car park operator, for €180 million, and is pitching for the lease of US city Harrisburg's parking garages, together with New York-based investor LambdaStar. EQT Infrastructure is about 70 percent invested.