F2i strengthens the partnership with Dutch asset manager APG and Ardian on 2i Rete Gas
The vehicle Finavias will acquire 8.1% of the gas operator from the Italian infrastructure fund, which retains 64%
Milan, April 23rd 2021 – F2i SGR and Finavias, a vehicle owned by the Dutch asset manager APG and funds managed by Ardian, strengthen their partnership on 2i Rete Gas, Italy’s second largest operator in gas distribution.
2i Rete Gas boasts approximately 4.5 million customers across the country, a turnover of 718 million at the end of 2020, 2 thousand employees and operates in the gas network management, dispatching and marketing. The company became part of F2i SGR’s portfolio in 2009, when the infrastructure fund acquired 64%, currently held by Fund III. An additional 8.1% shares were bought by F2i SGR’s Fund II in 2013. Eight years after the acquisition and following a path of growth that has taken the operator from 3.8 million to approximately 4.5 million customers, the shares will be transferred to APG and Ardian, which will increase their existing 28% stake in the company.
“The strengthening of the partnership with APG and Ardian, important long-term international investors with whom F2i has been working for a long time, is a source of great satisfaction for us. Once again F2i employs its management and value creation skills to assist Italian companies, drawing international capital to our country, creating value for investors while retaining the control in Italy”, commented Renato Ravanelli, Chief Executive Officer of F2i SGR.
Carlo Maddalena, Senior Portfolio Manager of APG, added: “We are pleased to continue investing, on behalf of our pension fund clients, in 2i Rete Gas alongside our partners Ardian and F2i. We look forward to supporting jointly this critical infrastructure which contributes to the decarbonization plan of the Italian economy. 2i Rete Gas will play a key role as enabler for the energy transition towards hydrogen and renewable gases while delivering long-term, risk adjusted returns for our pension fund clients.”
“We are very pleased about this transaction and to increase our shareholding in 2i Rete Gas, a company we have invested in since 2009 together with F2i. Over the years we have assisted its growth by creating the leading independent gas distribution operator in Italy and we will continue to support the management team and our partners, F2i and APG, to further develop the company by focusing on energy transition in the sector, where the role of 2i Rete Gas will be essential”, said Mathias Burghardt, head of Ardian Infrastructure.
Strategy consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) acted as strategic advisor to Finavias, Macquarie Capital as financial advisor and BonelliErede as legal advisor. Unicredit acted as advisor to F2i SGR.