The Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners fund will sell its portfolio company Ital Gas Storage, an independent operator in natural gas storage services in Italy, after the Summer. This was reported by Mergermarket, adding that the company is valued at 1.2 billion euros, including the debt of 860 million euros. The auction will start in the fall, but info memos are already circulating.
Potential buyers of Ital Gas Storage include other infrastructure funds such as Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, Firs State, Macquarie Infrastructure Real Assets (flanked by Crèdit Agricole); companies such as Milan-listed Snam, assisted in the transaction by Citigroup and Unicredit; and the US private equity firm KKR. Macquarie is said to be in pole position as the firm already controls Società Gasdotti Italia together with Swiss Life (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
Based in Milan, Ital Gas Storage controls a gas maxi-storage plant in the Po river Valley. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners had invested in the company in August 2015, through the Sandstone Holdings vehicle, acquiring 49% alongside Whysol Gas Storage Holding spa, which is controlled by former McKinsey manager Alberto Bitetto (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
On the occasion of the issuing of the over 1 billion credit line at the end of January 2016 (see here a previous article by BeBeez), Morgan Stanley had increased its share in the project up to 92.5%, with Whysol having maintained the 7th, 5% (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In July 2019 Ital Gas Storage had renegotiated the 1.056 billion euro debt with the banks (see here a previous article by BeBeez). The facility with the credit institutions had in fact been reduced to 866 million euros, following the lower construction costs of the new plant in Cornegliano Laudense (Lodi), started in December 2018.