The EU approved the acquisition of joint control of Galp Gás Natural Distribuição, SA (GGND) by the German Allianz Capital Partners.
The European Commission on Tuesday approved the acquisition of joint control of Galp Gás Natural Distribuição, SA (GGND) by the German Allianz Capital Partners, which last year acquired 75.01% of the shares from Galp, and the Japanese Marubeni and Toho Gás.
The EU executive’s report comes after last October Galp agreed to sell to Allianz Capital Partners, for 368 million euros, a 75.01% stake in GGND, owned 77.5% by Galp Gas & Power, SGPS and the remaining 22.50% by Meet Europe Natural Gas, Lda, a company owned by the Japanese Marubeni Corporation (50%) and Toho Gas (50%).
The European Commission, which assessed the operation under the simplified merger review procedure, concluded that “the proposed acquisition does not raise competition concerns as it does not result in overlaps between the companies’ activities”.
GGND owns nine regional gas distribution companies in Portugal.
This is the Portuguese “first direct investment in infrastructure” by the private capital fund manager of the German insurer Allianz, according to a note published on its website.
Allianz Capital Partners is also present in the renewable energy market in Portugal, having become the owner, in 2018, of two solar power plants: Ourika, with 46 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, in the municipality of Ourique, Alentejo, and Solara, with almost 220 MW, in the municipality of Alcoutim, Algarve.
GGND manages the concession companies and licensees responsible for operating gas networks in the nine regional concessions, with more than 10,000 kilometres of distribution networks in service and is present in 85 municipalities in the country.
Allianz Capital Partners noted in a statement that GGND’s network supplies around 1.1 million homes in Portugal and is made up of almost 95 percent of low-pressure polyethylene (“PE”) pipes, which can be used for the distribution of hydrogen, synthetic natural gas or biomethane.
“Together with GGND and our partners, we hope to support this critical infrastructure, which contributes to the decarbonisation plan of the Portuguese economy and can become an important facilitator for the energy transition to renewable gases, providing our insurance customers and investors with long-term risk-adjusted returns,” said Christian Fingerle, investment director at Allianz Capital Partners, quoted in the same note.