Porta Finance and Rothschild advise Government of Latvia on acquisition of Uniper’s stake in Conexus Baltic Grid

19 December, 2017

Porta Finance together with its cooperation partner Rothschild acted as exclusive financial advisers to the Latvian Ministry of Economics (“MoE”) in connection with the acquisition of 18.31% shares in Latvian natural gas transmission and storage system operator, JSC Conexus Baltic Grid (“Conexus”) from Germany-based energy group Uniper Ruhrgas International GmbH (“Uniper”).

To comply with the EU directives, the natural gas incumbent Latvijas Gāze has been obliged to unbundle its natural gas transmission and storage segment from trading and distribution business. In consequence, existing shareholders of Latvijas Gāze have been allocated shares in newly carved-out gas transmission and storage business (Conexus) at the beginning of 2017.

Since EU law prohibits gas production companies from having ownership in gas transportation assets, three major shareholders of Conexus – Gazprom (34.1% stake), Uniper (18.3% stake) and Itera Latvija (16.1% stake) have been obliged to dispose their stakes in Conexus by the end of 2017.

The Government of Latvia has decided that Conexus’s gas transmission and storage assets are of strategic importance for regional energy security and decided to acquire controlling stake from the selling shareholders in a market-driven process. JSC Augstsprieguma tīkls (“AST”), Latvian electricity transmission system operator wholly owned by the Government of Latvia has been designated as an acquisition vehicle.

Porta Finance together with Rothschild advised the Government of Latvia on all of the aspects of the transaction, including designing the buy-side process, coordinating due diligence, preparing valuation analysis, assessing strategic and tactical alternatives and negotiating transaction documentation.

Further information:
Mikus Janvars
Partner, Porta Finance
Tel: +371 6733 6730