Two groups of investors made up of a partnership led by Fluxys and a consortium of Korean investors have bought EDF’s 65.01% stake, with an enterprise value of €2.4bn, in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Dunkirk, France.
EDF said it has agreed to sell 31% of its stake in Dunkirk LNG to a consortium made up of Belgian gas infrastructure company Fluxys, AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets, on behalf of clients, and Crédit Agricole Assurances.
Fluxys already owns 25% of Dunkirk LNG and the French oil and gas company Total owns a 9.99% stake.
EDF has also agreed to sell a 34.01% stake to an IPM Group-led consortium in partnership with Samsung Asset Management, IBK Securities and Hanwha Investment & Securities.
As a part of a broader sale process initiated by EDF, Total said it has decided to sell its entire stake to the two buyers. This lifts the Fluxys and IPM consortium stake to 35.76% and 39.24% respectively.
In total, the amount paid by the two consortia gives EDF’s entire 65.01% an average enterprise value of €2.4bn.
EDF said its has approved the transaction and subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close within the next six months.
Marc Benayoun, EDF Group’s senior executive vice president for gas and Italy, said:”This transaction illustrates EDF Group’s capacity to create value in building complex infrastructure projects.
”We will remain engaged as a client with the terminal to support the development of the Group’s activities in the European gas market.”
Pascal De Buck, the managing director and CEO of Fluxys, said: “Having Fluxys as core shareholder is a key asset for the Dunkirk LNG terminal. We have extensive first-hand experience with the facility as we have been partner from the very onset and we are committed to move its business forward while ensuring a top-notch operational record with clients and high safety and environmental standards.
“The Dunkirk LNG terminal will also benefit from the LNG expertise within the Fluxys group and especially at the Zeebrugge LNG terminal. Besides our strong industrial expertise, we bring with our partners AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets and Crédit Agricole Assurances a long-term investment outlook and financial strength.”
Mark Gilligan, the head of infrastructure equity at AXA IM - Real Assets, said: “In early 2017 we identified Dunkirk LNG as an ideal addition to our managed portfolio. We were especially impressed by its superb engineering, strategic location and essentiality to the long-term secure energy supply of North-western Europe.
“We value investing alongside aligned financial and operating partners – importantly, Fluxys has a reputation for operational excellence including health, safety and the environment. More broadly, we consider natural gas an important component of a low carbon future.”
Jurae Kang, the chief executive officer of IPM Korea said: “As a strategic infrastructure asset serving both France and Belgium as its primary gas markets, Dunkerque LNG is an attractive opportunity for our consortium and is fully aligned with our investment strategy in core infrastructure assets.
”The long-term predictable cash flows, with stable cash yield, supported by EDF’s and Total’s continued commitments to the terminal, coupled with the operational expertise of Fluxys, make Dunkerque LNG an attractive investment for Korean investors”