Disposal of SSE Pipelines Ltd

SSE plc today (1 September) completed the sale of SSE Pipelines Ltd, one of the UK’s largest licensed independent gas transporters, to a new fund, the Environmental Capital Fund (ECF) for a total consideration estimated to be £52.7m.  ECF is managed by Scottish Equity Partners LLP (SEP).

SSE Pipelines Ltd has over 130,000 gas connections, providing this service to new residential and commercial developments throughout the UK.  No employees will transfer as part of the disposal.  The sale is part of SSE’s value programme of planned asset and business disposals announced in its Notification of Close Period Statement on 26 March.

SEP has raised a commitment of £135 million for the infrastructure fund to invest in UK-based clean energy projects, which SSE Pipelines Ltd will anchor.  SSE will initially invest £13.8 million for a significant minority stake in the fund, which is also backed by a syndicate of financial investors led by Lexington Partners, the world's largest independent manager of secondary private equity and co-investment funds.

ECF complements SEP’s Environmental Energies Fund (EEF) launched in 2011, which acquired a portfolio of venture capital and private equity cleantech investments from SSE plc.

Gregor Alexander, Finance Director of SSE plc, said:  “We have identified a range of assets and businesses which are not core to SSE’s future plans and this disposal represents the latest step in the programme to significantly simplify the SSE group and secure proceeds and debt reduction estimated to total around £1bn.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to complete the disposal and, at the same time, participate in SEP’s new fund targeted at small-scale clean energy projects throughout the UK.

“This transaction will ensure resources are fully focused on what is important and relevant to SSE plc’s core purpose of providing the energy people need in a reliable and sustainable way whilst supporting future investment in clean energy.”