Reuters: Private Equity Group EQT Hires M.Stanley for Swedish Gas Grid Sale -sources

Swedish private equity firm EQT has hired Morgan Stanley for the sale of gas grid operator Swedegas, which could fetch more than 500 million euros ($650 million), sources told Reuters.

(Reuters) – Swedish private equity firm EQT has hired Morgan Stanley for the sale of gas grid operator Swedegas, which could fetch more than 500 million euros ($650 million), two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The sources declined to be identified because the plans are not public. A third source said EQT had appointed Swedish law firm Vinge as legal adviser for the deal. EQT, Morgan Stanley and Vinge declined to comment.

European energy infrastructure businesses due to be sold in the near future include Fortum’s electricity distribution business, the biggest in the Nordic region.

EQT has owned Swedegas since early 2010. In 2011, Swedegas bought E.ON’s high-pressure gas pipelines in southern Sweden, taking control of all of Sweden’s natural gas grid with 620 km (385 miles) of pipelines in southern and western Sweden.

EQT owns Swedegas through its first infrastructure fund which closed in 2008 with 1.2 billion euros in capital. In January, EQT closed its second infrastructure fund with capital of 1.9 billion.

The sources said Swedegas is likely to attract interest mainly from other infrastructure funds, which are popular with investors such as pension funds who look for stable returns. ($1 = 0.7744 euros)