Infrastructure manager turns up the heat

A $4.7 billion global infrastructure manager, and an investment consultant to several superannuation funds, has purchased a stake in a Norwegian heating network.

Whitehelm Capital acquired a 49% stake in Kvitebjorn Varme AS, the owner and operator of the district heating network covering Tromso - the largest Norwegian urban area inside the Arctic Circle.

Whitehelm said the deal was made on behalf of a consortium of institutional investors, and added the deal was consistent with the company's commitment to core European mid-market infrastructure companies which ticked several boxes, such as long-term stable cash flows and a focus on sustainability.

Whitehelm head of infrastructure equity Europe and North America, Matteo Andreoletti, said district heating was an attractive market for the infrastructure manager.

"Given the importance of the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector, responsible for about 40% of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions, we have long identified district heating as an attractive and resilient market," Andreoletti said.

"Our investment in Kvitebjorn Varme is typical of our mid-market strategy, which focuses on resilient businesses with strong value creation potential and quality partners. Whitehelm Capital has generated attractive returns for its investors through multiple business cycles by consistently pursuing a differentiated investment origination strategy and value-focused asset management."

Though further details of the transaction were not disclosed, Whitehelm revealed it purchased the stake from Kvitebjorn Energi AS, an energy company controlled by Daimyo, a Norweigian investment group. According to a release, Kvitebjorn Energi AS is set to remain a shareholder in the heating network.

The acquisition is Whitehelm's third in the Nordic region, joining its ownership of Norwegian energy from waste business SAE and Swedish onshore wind farm, Storrun.

Earlier this year the firm acquired a portfolio of regional and compressed natural gas refuelling assets from Aussie energy giant AGL.

Read more: Whitehelm CapitalKvitebjorn Energi ASKvitebjorn Varme ASMatteo AndreolettiAGLArctic CircleDaimyoNorth AmericaStorrunTromso
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