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Erste Group advises Infracapital on the acquisition of the Slovak utility company GGE a.s.

  • The transaction was negotiated and agreed on a bilateral basis under exclusivity and has been completed on September 21st, 2015
  • Erste Group expects further infrastructure assets to be sold in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe in the coming period

Erste Group acted as M&A and debt advisor for Infracapital, the infrastructure investment arm of Prudential, on the acquisition of the Slovak utility group GGE a.s. (“GGE”). Erste’s support enabled Infracapital to approach GGE’s shareholders and complete the transaction bilaterally on exclusivity basis.

GGE’s activities primarily consist of the production and distribution of heat and electricity using natural gas fuelled Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants across Slovakia, with a total capacity of 303MW. The company enjoys a strong market position in the well-developed Slovakian energy market, operating within a stable regulatory framework, and has substantial growth opportunities in the region.

“Erste Group’s strong energy and infrastructure sector expertise and well-established local presence in Austria and the CEE region have proven highly valuable to us to successfully close this transaction. This is Infracapital first ever CEE investment and sets the fundament for further consolidation in the region”, said Alberto Signori Infracapital.

“Given Erste’s in-depth knowledge about the CEE markets and access to key decision makers we can provide bespoke advisory service to our clients and originate proprietary situations for them. We are delighted to have acted as financial advisers for Infracapital” said Heimo Stauchner, Head of Erste Group Financial Sponsors Team.

“Going forward we expect further sponsor-driven infrastructure transactions in Austria and select CEE countries triggered by the need to increase balance sheet flexibility and the emergence of a highly motivated investor base with low cost of capital”, added Heimo Stauchner.

The deal underpins Erste Group’s strong track record in CEE energy and infrastructure transactions. Previously, Erste Group had co-advised Borealis infrastructure Partners and Allianz Capital Partners on their EUR 1.6bn acquisition of NET4GAS, the Czech gas transmission system operator, from RWE AG, also having acted as Joint Bookrunner on the IPO of Romgaz.

Infracapital is the infrastructure investment arm of Prudential. Infracapital has over £2.4 billion funds under management, and a team of 25 investment professionals with investment, management and operational expertise. Infracapital’s approach to investment offers long‐term value through the acquisition and active management of a diversified portfolio of core European infrastructure assets. Target sectors include utilities, essential transportation, renewables and communications infrastructure

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