A Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets-backed consortium has acquired all shares in the Czech Republic’s far and away largest gas distribution network operator, by exercising its pre-emption right over a majority stake held by RWE.
The consortium, which announced the takeover on Monday (29 April), paid EUR 1.8bn for the 50.04% stake held by RWE in Innogy Grid, which owns and operates around 64,500km of gas pipeline, equivalent to 80% of the Czech Republic’s gas distribution network.
The 100% owner – which first invested in the business in 2013 before further increasing its stake in 2015 to 49.96% – was last year tipped to buy the 50.04% just sold.
It follows RWE’s acquisition of the same stake in Innogy Grid Holding two months ago from Innogy SE, the Essen-based energy group in which RWE holds a majority stake.
Innogy was expected at the time by analysts to book a gain of EUR 1bn from the sale, although the two companies did not disclose the purchase price in the February 2019 deal.
RWE and E.ON announced just over a year ago a deal by which RWE would sell its entire 76.8% stake in Innogy to E.ON as part of a major exchange of assets.
As part of that deal, RWE is due to receive all of E.ON’s renewable activities as well as a minority stake in E.ON itself. The wider transaction, which is also due to reach financial close later this year and is a pre-condition to the closing of the MIRA deal, is set to make RWE one of Europe’s largest owners of renewable energy generating assets.