EMEA: UK infra funds bid for Welcome Break portfolio

11 May 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

3i Infrastructure, Equitix and Arjun Infrastructure Partners are among the bidders for a portfolio of assets including UK service station operator Welcome Break, sources said.

Dutch bank NIBC recently issued teasers for the sale of European Infrastructure Fund (NEIF), which holds assets such as a 55% stake in Welcome Break, a portfolio of PPP projects in the UK and renewable energy assets in continental Europe.

Sources said 3i Infrastructure, Equitix and Arjun, which owns the remaining stake in Welcome Break, have prepared bids for the assets. A broadcaster reported that 3i and Equitix are working on a joint bid that would result in 3i Infrastructure taking over the Welcome Break stake and Equitix taking the other assets. 

3i and Arjun declined to comment. Equitix did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

NIBC, which appointed Evercore to advise on the sale, is looking to sell NEIF as a single portfolio or in separate tranches. The portfolio could be valued at around GBP 600m, it is understood. 

Welcome Break, which operates 27 service stations, accounts for around two-thirds of the value of the portfolio. The remaining assets comprise six PFI concessions in healthcare and education in the UK and six wind, solar and biomass assets in Germany, France, Belgium and Spain.

3i Infrastructure has firepower for acquisitions after selling its stakes in Finnish heating company Elenia to a consortium including Allianz and Macquarie for around GBP 725m and its stake in UK water company Anglian Water to a consortium including Dalmore Capital and GLIL Infrastructure for around GBP 395m.

Equitix has more than 150 investments in health, education, social housing, utility, highways government accommodation, waste and renewables. Arjun, founded in 2015, has a relatively small portfolio and recently agreed to buy a 75% stake in South Staffs Water.

Welcome Break