FINLAND – Finnish pension funds Keva and LocalTapiola Pension (LTP) have agreed to acquire the Finnish electricity distribution networks of Fortum Corporation, as part of a consortium, Suomi Power Networks (SPN).

The overall purchase price is €2.55bn.

Keva’s stake in the consortium is 12.5%, while LTP has a 7.5% interest.

The remaining partners – international infrastructure investors First State Investments and Borealis Infrastructure, the infrastructure asset management arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System – have a 40% stake each.

Fortum’s distribution network is the largest in Finland, with a 20% market share.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation for its Finnish distribution business in 2012 were €154m on sales of €321m.

Fortum is also the leading electricity distribution company in the Nordic countries, with more than 1.6m network customers.

The transaction excludes Fortum’s electricity sales business.

Esko Raunio, head of private market investments at LTP, said: “We are looking for good, stable, long-term returns. We consider Fortum’s electricity distribution network as a good company, with opportunities for further development and investment in the network.”

He added: “We’re pleased to be working with experienced international partners to make a significant long-term investment into the Finnish economy and strategically important infrastructure, through Finland’s largest electricity distribution network.”

LTP already owns a 4.5% share in Fingrid, the Finnish transmission system operation.

LTP’s investment assets amounted to €10.3bn, as of 30 September.

The Fortum investment will form part of its private equity allocation, which at that date was 4.6%, including direct investments and fund investments.

The allocation to listed equities was 29.8%.

Completion of the transaction is expected during the first quarter of 2014, subject to customary regulatory approvals.