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.


Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

Updated 23 March 2019
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Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

  • Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China
  • Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets

BEIJING: Apple chief executive Tim Cook nudged China on Saturday to open up and said the future would depend on global collaboration, as the United States and China remained locked in a bitter trade dispute.
“We encourage China to continue to open up, we see that as essential, not only for China to reach its full potential, but for the global economy to thrive,” Cook said at a China Development Forum in Beijing.
Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets, some analysts worry that its reform project has slowed or even stalled under President Xi Jinping, who has sought greater control over the economy and a bigger role for state-owned firms at the expense of the private sector.
Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China because of a contracting smartphone market, increasing pressure from Chinese rivals, and slowing upgrade cycles. The company reported a revenue drop of 26 percent in the greater China region during the quarter ending in December.
Before those results came out, in a January letter to investors, Cook blamed the company’s poor China performance on trade tension between the United States and China, suggesting that pressure on the economy was hurting sales in China.