China Everbright Limited announces sale of the Boreal group to Vauban

Business Related 01 Nov 2021

HONG KONG (1 November 2021) – Everbright Overseas Infrastructure Investment Fund LP (“EOIIF”), a fund sponsored and managed by China Everbright Limited (“CEL”,165.HK), today announces the signing of a definitive agreement to sell Boreal Holding AS and its subsidiaries (“Boreal”), a leading multi-modal public transportation services solution provider headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, to a company held by an investment fund managed by Vauban Infrastructure Partners (“Vauban”), a leading European asset management company, headquartered in Paris, and focused on the core infrastructure equity investments. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Post transaction, the management team will remain and continue to lead Boreal.

Boreal is one of the largest operators in the Norwegian public transportation market. It operates medium- to long-term contracts granted by public transport authorities in four key segments of bus, car ferry, fast ferry and light rail. Since EOIIF’s acquisition of Boreal in April 2018 from Cube Infrastructure, Boreal has achieved substantial growth in its contract portfolio through expanding into new counties and winning of larger tenders, on top of its expansion into Sweden.

Boreal also transformed itself into a global pioneer in sustainable transportation under EOIIF’s ownership. Boreal commenced operations of several key electric ferry operations fully powered by battery in 2021, on top of electric bus contracts across Norway.

Daniel Hu, Managing Director of EOIIF, said, “our investment philosophy of focusing on and investing into the people, the most important asset of the business, pays off in that Boreal weathered the COVID-19 pandemic, and strengthened its position as one of the best multi-modal transportation solution providers in Norway. The green transformation Boreal has undertaken demonstrates EOIIF’s determination in integrating ESG into its investment philosophy, an excellent example that responsible investment and investor return can co-exist.”

Richard Hu, Managing Director and Head of EOIIF, said, “We are very proud to have worked with Boreal management team in the past four years. The transaction marks EOIIF’s successful exit from its first major buyout transaction in the OECD infrastructure sector. It is a testimony of EOIIF team’s ability to deliver strong return to investors across different social, political, and culture dynamics. As the EOIIF team raises its second infrastructure fund, we look forward to delivering top-notch return to our investors again.”

“It has been a great experience working with EOIIF. The team brought in new thinking on how to optimize the business. Their tenacity demonstrated during the high of the COVID-pandemic was impressive. We wish the continued success of CEL and EOIIF team,” said Boreal CEO Kjetil Førsvoll.

The Boreal sale will mark EOIIF’s second divestiture in the past twelve months, having sold its 100% equity interest of the concessionaire of Tirana International Airport SHPK in December 2020.

Closing of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

Pareto Securities (financial advisor), and Clifford Chance and Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS (legal) advised EOIIF on the transaction, and Vauban was advised by Credit Agricole (financial advisor) and Aabø-Evensen (legal).

About CEL and EOIIF

EOIIF is managed by a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Everbright Limited. China Everbright Limited was established in Hong Kong in 1997 with over 20 years’ experience in cross-border asset management and PE investments. It is a listed company in Hong Kong with alternative asset management as its core business, backed by its parent company China Everbright Group. Through the private equity funds, venture capital funds, industry funds, mezzanine funds, fund of funds, fixed income and equity funds it manages, Everbright cultivates a number of high-growth-potential enterprises together with its investors.