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May 2012 - Open Grid Europe acquisition by Macquarie-led Consortium: the largest European infrastructure transaction for 2012

The EUR 3.2 billion acquisition of E.ON's German gas transmission network, Open Grid Europe by a Macquarie-led Consortium in May 2012 was the largest European infrastructure deal in 2012.

Open Grid Europe (OGE) has been sold by the German Group E.ON, as part of their divestment program undertaken to deleverage and refocus their activities to emerging markets. Acquirers comprised a Consortium of Macquarie, Infinity Investments, bcIMC and Munich Re.

OGE is a supra-regional gas Transmission System Operator in Germany which owns Germany’s longest pipeline transmission system of c.10,600km, covering 70% of the total shipping volume in Germany. The asset was sold via a trade sale by E.ON Rhurgas AG as part of its strategic disposal plan initiated in 2011.

Crédit Agricole CIB acted as mandated lead arranger, bookrunner and hedge provider along eight other international and local banks, including most of the major international Project Finance/Infrastructure lenders in Europe.

The transaction was awarded “European Oil & Gas Deal of the Year” by Dealogic in 2012.

The total debt package, amounted to EUR 2,750 million, was structured with mechanisms to strongly incentivize a DCM take-out. Crédit Agricole CIB is positioning to secure a lead role on the DCM refinancing.
Crédit Agricole CIB was able to secure the mandate through its close relationship with the clients and leadership position in arranging financing for the regulated utility sector in Europe”, says Matthew Norman, Head of Infrastructure for EMEAEurope, the Middle East and Africa.