Marguerite sells to Japanese fund as stake in Latvian gas company changes hands

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The Marguerite investment fund announced December 5 it had signed a sale purchase agreement with Marubeni-backed MM Capital Infrastructure Fund 1 to offload its 29.06% interest in AS Conexus Baltic Grid, the unified natural gas transmission and storage operator in Latvia.

"Following a competitive sales process, MM Capital Infrastructure Fund 1 agreed to acquire the 29.06% shareholding in AS Conexus Baltic Grid (“CBG”) of the Marguerite Fund’s wholly owned subsidiary Marguerite Gas I S.à.r.l., subject to conditions in the Energy and National Security Laws of Latvia," the announcement said.

In January 2016 the Marguerite Fund acquired a 28.97% stake in AS Latvijas Gāze (“LG”), from Uniper Ruhrgas International GmbH (formerly E.ON Ruhrgas International GmbH) which remained a shareholder in LG with an 18.26% stake. With this transaction Marguerite became the second largest shareholder in LG, the gas company in charge of the transmission, distribution, storage, and supply of natural gas in Latvia.

AS Conexus Baltic Grid was set up in December 2016 when LG was split into two independent structural entities ahead of the liberalization of the Latvian gas market in April 2017, and in line with the EU Gas Directive. As a consequence, the unified natural gas transmission system and Inčukalns underground gas storage, the third largest storage facility in the EU, were transferred to AS Conexus Baltic Grid.

Macquarie Capital acted as financial adviser to Marguerite in the deal, the size and terms of which were not disclosed.

The Purchaser, MM Capital Infrastructure Fund 1, is managed by MM Capital Partners, which was formed in 2018 by Marubeni Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Asset Management One Co., Ltd. for the purpose of operating and managing funds specialized in equity investments in overseas infrastructure assets.

Marubeni Corporation is a Japanese trading and investment firm, engaged in a broad range of global business activities including infrastructure, energy, metals and mineral resources, chemicals and food. It already invested in a number of natural gas related infrastructure assets in several countries.

"MM Capital Infrastructure Fund 1, after becoming a shareholder of CBG, intends to utilize Marubeni’s knowledge and expertise from existing investments in order to contribute to successful operation of CBG. MM Capital Partners can also offer to support CBG in procuring a long-term financing by leveraging its relationship with Japanese financial institutions," the statement about the sale said. 


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