Kuwait sovereign fund’s UK unit to buy NSMP for $1.7bn

Kuwait skyline: Wren House, the London-based infrastructure investment arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), fought off rival bids to buy oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners (NSMP). (AFP)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Kuwait sovereign fund’s UK unit to buy NSMP for $1.7bn

  • London-based infrastructure investment arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority fought off rival bids to buy oil and gas pipeline firm
  • NSMP owns a 67 percent interest in the SIRGE pipeline that transports natural gas from the West of Shetlands basin

The British infrastructure arm of Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund has agreed to buy oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners (NSMP) for around £1.3 billion ($1.7 billion) from ArcLight Capital, according to two sources.
Wren House, the London-based infrastructure investment arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), fought off bids from JP Morgan, Blackstone, and private equity fund KKR to buy NSMP, according to one of the sources.
“Wren House was bidding against some very big players and they simply offered the best terms,” said the source. A spokesman for Wren House could not be reached for immediate comment.
Its bid was lower than one other but it offered better overall terms, according to one of the sources.
The current management team, including NSMP CEO Andy Heppel, will remain, the source said.
NSMP was valued at around £1.2 billion to £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion to $1.7 billion), the sources said.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised ArcLight on the transaction. Patrick de Loe, Merrill’s managing director of EMEA infrastructure, declined to comment.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was ArcLight’s legal adviser. Wren House was advised by Jefferies and Macquarie Capital. Its legal adviser was Slaughter and May.
The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute ranks KIA as the world’s fourth-biggest sovereign fund, managing $592 billion. Only Norway, China and United Arab Emirates have bigger sovereign funds.
Wren House is headed by Hakim Drissi Kaitouni, a former investment banker who worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London and New York.
Its other investments in the United Kingdom include stakes in Associated British Ports, London City Airport and Thames Water.
NSMP owns a 67 percent interest in the SIRGE pipeline that transports natural gas from the West of Shetlands basin and a 100 percent interest in the FUKA pipeline which transports gas from the SIRGE pipeline and various fields in the northern and central North Sea.
NSMP also owns the St. Fergus Gas Terminal and Teesside Gas Processing Plant. NSMP counts the Rhum gas field, in the North Sea and which is 50 percent owned by the Iranian Oil Company, among its clients.


Philips to close its UK factory in 2020, with loss of 400 jobs

Updated 8 min 43 sec ago
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Philips to close its UK factory in 2020, with loss of 400 jobs

AMSTERDAM/LONDON: Dutch health technology company Philips said on Thursday it planned to close its only factory in Britain in 2020, with the loss of around 400 jobs, the latest firm to move manufacturing jobs out of Britain.
The move is part of a push by Philips to reduce its large manufacturing sites worldwide to 30 from 50, and a spokesman said the decision had no direct link with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
However, the company said in a statement that it had to “pro-actively mitigate the potential impact of various ongoing geopolitical challenges, including uncertainties and possible obstructions that may affect its manufacturing operations.”
The factory in Glemsford, Suffolk, produces babycare products, mainly for export to other European countries. Almost all its activities will move to Philips’ plant in Drachten, the Netherlands, which already employs around 2,000 workers.
“We have announced the proposal after careful consideration, and over the next period, we will work closely with the impacted colleagues on next steps,” said Neil Mesher, CEO of Philips UK & Ireland.
“The UK is an important market for us, and we will continue to invest in our commercial organization and innovation programs in the country.”
Once a sprawling conglomerate, Philips has transformed itself into a health technology specialist in recent years, shedding its consumer electronics and lighting divisions.
The firm has previously warned that Brexit would put Britain’s status as a manufacturing hub at risk.
Chief Executive Frans van Houten last year said that without a customs union — which has been ruled out by Prime Minister Theresa May — Philips would have to rethink its manufacturing footprint.
Britain is set to leave the EU on March 29, and politicians are at an impasse over how to do so after lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected May’s proposed withdrawal agreement on Tuesday.
Other firms have moved jobs out of Britain in recent weeks, sparking alarm among lawmakers that Brexit is impacting corporate decision-making.
Jaguar Land Rover has slashed UK jobs — mainly due to lower Chinese demand and a slump in European diesel sales — while Ford has said it will slash thousands of jobs as part of its turnaround plan.
While both decisions were driven by factors other than Brexit, each firm has also been vocal in warning of the risks of no-deal Brexit, where Britain leaves abruptly in March without a transition period.