Enagas-led group withdraws from race to acquire gas network TIGF

A consortium led by Spain’s Enagas SA (MCE:ENG) unveiled its decision not to submit an offer for French oil and gas firm Total SA’s TIGF gas network and storage business as the target does not match its strategy.

The consortium also includes Canadian fund Borealis and two other firms.

The remaining participants in the race are two group of investors. Belgium’s natural gas operator Fluxys Belgium SA (EBR:FLUX) and French state-controlled lender Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) have joined hands with AXA Private Equity, Credit Agricole SA’s (EPA:ACA) Predica insurance unit, CNP Assurances SA (EPA:CNP) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

The other consortium includes French energy giant Electricite de France SA (EPA:EDF), which has teamed up with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd (GIC) and Italy’s Snam SpA (BIT:SRG).

The vendor expects firm bids by 4 February, Reuters said previously, citing sources.

The sale of TIGF, announced last autumn, is part of Total’s strategy to sell as much as EUR20bn (USD26.7bn) worth of assets by 2014 to bolster its cash flow and provide funds for substantial investments. According to analyst estimates, TIGF is valued at some EUR2.5bn.

Spain’s Enagas to acquire a 90% stake in Naturgas from EDP

Spanish natural gas transportation company Enagas SA (MCE:ENG) said it had agreed to take a 90% stake in sector firm Naturgas Energia Transporte SAU from Portuguese electric utility Energias de Portugal SA (ELI:EDP), or EDP, for EUR241m (USD291.5m).

Following the transaction, which is pending regulatory clearance, the Basque government will hold the remaining 10% of Naturgas through the Basque regional energy board (EVE). The move is in line with the 3rd EU Gas Directive, according to which vertically integrated energy operators need to separate their transmission activities from the remaining businesses.

The acquisition will allow Enagas to consolidate its position as the only transmission firm in the Spanish gas transmission trunk network, it said. In addition, the buyer will beef up its presence in the Basque county.

By taking control of this firm, Enagas will end up acquiring 450 km (279.6 miles) of high-pressure gas pipelines and the international Irun connection. The company intends to set up a new compressor station, thus boosting the capacity of the connection that heads from France into Spain to 2.1bn cu m (74.16bn cu ft) from the current 200m cu m. Furthermore, it plans to establish a 54 km gas pipeline between Bilbao and Treto.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (MCE:BBVA), Bird & Bird LLP, Garrigues and PWC are providing advice to Enagas with regard to the transaction.