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    Bluewater sheds interest in UK infrastructure operator


PX has operated and maintained the St Fergus gas terminal since 2016. [image credit: PX]

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Infrastructure, Pipelines, News By Country, United Kingdom

Bluewater sheds interest in UK infrastructure operator

Private equity group Bluewater announced on April 28 it had sold its interest in UK gas infrastructure operator PX Group to the latter's management team led by CEO Geoff Holmes and backed by institutional investors.

The company described the move as a "successful exit", estimating it had netted a 30% internal rate of return on its original investment in PX in 2016. It did not disclose the sale's value, however. PX's management teamed up with Aksiom Services Group, a partnership between Ara Partners and Aksiom Group, to acquire Bluewater's interest.

PX has operated and maintained the St Fergus gas terminal in Scotland on behalf of its client North Sea Midstream Partners for five years. It also operates the Teesside gas processing plant, the Breagh gas fields, the Fellside, Beckton and Stallingborough combined heat and power plants, the Northampton fuel terminal, the Holbrook biomass facility and the Saltend chemicals park.

Since it entered the business, Bluewater estimates that PX has achieved 27% average annual growth, a near trebling of turnover and a sevenfold increase in EBITDA to more than £15mn ($20.8mn) projected for 2021. 

"This is a great example of the benefits private equity can bring to both companies and investors. Our strategy was buy-and-build, and in five years our investment has more than trebled," Bluewater founding partner Graeme Sword said. "In the same period, we have transformed the company to a leader in energy transition by using our network to supplement the management team and drive growth both organically and via acquisition. PX is now well-positioned as the market leader to capitalise on the energy transition in the UK and Europe."

The St Fergus terminal will host the Acorn carbon capture and storage and blue hydrogen project set to be developed by Storegga, Shell and Harbour.