Funds managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and Goldman Sachs are to buy HES International from Riverstone Holdings and The Carlyle Group for an undisclosed sum.

HES is one of the largest diversified port terminals businesses in Europe and focuses on the storage and handling of liquid bulk products, such as crude oil, refined petroleum products and bio-fuels, and dry bulk products, primarily iron ore and coking coal, minerals and agri-bulk and thermal coal.

Leigh Harrison, European Head of MIRA, said: “As long term investors we are excited about the growth opportunities HES offers in dry and liquid bulk as well as its strong management team, market position in North West Europe and its focused strategy. Together with our partner WSIP, we are looking forward to supporting management in expanding the business through new growth projects.”

The company has strategic locations in Europe’s best accessible ports and benefits from highly attractive catchment areas, including key industrial areas in North West Europe, and from deep long-term relationships with blue-chip customers. It has built a unique platform of best-in-class liquid and dry bulk terminals operating across Europe, including EMO (Rotterdam) and OBA (Amsterdam), the two largest dry bulk import terminals in North West Europe. HES has also established the HES Botlek Tank Terminal (HBTT), the newest liquid bulk terminal in North West Europe, and enhanced the transition of HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal (HWTT), the largest independent tank terminal in Germany, to a fully operational terminal.

Under Riverstone’s and Carlyle’s ownership, the HES management team has been successfully implementing a €700m transformation and growth strategy, including the recent Financial Investment Decision on the landmark Hartelstrip expansion project. This strategy makes HES one of the most significant tank terminal operators in North West Europe while further strengthening its position as a large diversified dry bulk terminal operator in Europe.

In tank storage, investments include increasing capacity of the HES Botlek Tank Terminal from 200,000 cubic metres to over 620,000 cubic metres by 2019 and the construction of the world class HES Hartel Tank terminal. In Wilhelmshaven, HES repurposed the former refinery into a commercial tank terminal and is currently preparing to restart part of the primary distillation processing capacity under a tolling agreement. These investments are all based on long-term contracts and together they are expected to triple operational liquid bulk capacity to 3.2 million cubic metres.

The transformation programme also extends to dry bulk, where HES has consistently diversified into agri-bulk and minerals by expanding its capacity to 900,000 cubic metres of highly flexible covered storage and supporting HES’s strategy to become a major European operator in this segment.

MIRA and WSIP are experienced, long-term infrastructure investors with strong track records of supporting their portfolio companies’ investment plans and they are supportive of the management team’s vision for the company. Jan Vogel, Chief Executive Officer of HES International, said: “With the support of Riverstone and Carlyle we have become one of Europe’s most successful independent bulk handling companies providing products and services to our customers at 18 sites across eight countries. Over the past 3.5 years, we have implemented a focused strategy that makes optimal use of our prime real estate in Europe’s key ports and allows us to adjust flexibly to future changes and opportunities that energy transition will bring to our sector.

“We have also built a strong pipeline of additional growth projects for both our liquid bulk and dry bulk businesses to support our strong position in each of our core businesses. We are confident MIRA and WSIP will be strong, long-term partners for our continued future growth and continued international expansion.”

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10th Apr 2018

10th April 2018