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.


World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

Updated 21 August 2018
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World’s biggest sovereign fund worried about trade wars

  • The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter
  • Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China

OSLO: The managers of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, expressed concern Tuesday about global trade tensions, which could heavily impact its value.
The fund posted a positive return of 1.8 percent, or 167 billion kroner ($19.8 billion), in the second quarter, helping erase a loss of 171 billion kroner in January-March that was attributed to a volatile stock market.
The Government Pension Fund Global, which saw its total value swell to 8.33 trillion kroner by the end of June, manages the country’s oil revenues in order to finance Norway’s generous welfare state when its oil and gas wells run dry.
But Norway’s central bank, which runs the fund, said geopolitical and trade tensions presented a risk.
“It’s fair to say that increased trade barriers or even trade wars will not be beneficial for the fund as a long-term global investor,” Trond Grande, the deputy chief of Norges Bank Investment Management, told reporters.
Markets are worried about a trade dispute between the United States and China. Accusing Beijing of unfair competition, the US administration is considering slapping a new round of levies worth $200 billion on Chinese goods.
Talks between the two slated for Wednesday and Thursday aimed at resolving the dispute have however eased concerns somewhat.
Following US-Turkey tensions that sent the Turkish lira and the Istanbul stock market tumbling, the Norwegian fund said its assets there were worth less than the 23 billion kroner they were at the beginning of the year.
“We’ve seen the market rise for a long time, that there are different political and geopolitical events in the world that can affect the market, and we have to be prepared for the fact that (the value of) the fund can go down a lot,” Grande concluded.
The fund’s strong second quarter was attributed primarily to its share portfolio, which accounts for 66.8 percent of its investments and which rose by 2.7 percent.
Real estate holdings, which account for 2.6 percent of its holdings, rose by 1.9 percent, while bond investments, which represent 30.6 percent, remained flat.
Faced with falling oil revenues in recent years, the Norwegian government has been tapping the fund to finance public spending since 2015. But with oil prices recovering, the fund registered its first inflow in three years in June.