Fluxys in joint bid for RWE's Net4Gas - paper

BRUSSELS Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:32am EST

BRUSSELS Feb 26 (Reuters) - Belgian natural gas infrastructure company Fluxys has teamed up with private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) to bid for Czech gas transmission system Net4Gas, Belgian business daily De Tijd said.

Net4Gas is one of the assets Germany's No. 2 utility RWE is selling as it cuts debt under pressure from ratings agencies.

De Tijd, without specifying its sources, said on Tuesday that Fluxys and GIP had already put in a binding bid.

Fluxys and RWE declined to comment. GIP could not immediately be reached for comment.

Other likely bidders include EPH and Macquarie jointly, Czech financial group KKCG and German insurer Allianz . The bids, due earlier this month, were expected to range between 1.5 and 2.0 billion euros.

Net4Gas operates more than 3,600 kilometers (2,200 miles) of pipelines crossing the whole of the Czech Republic and serving as a major access point for Russian gas into western Europe.

Fluxys, which controls listed Belgian pipeline operator Fluxys Belgium, is majority owned by Publigas, a Belgian municipal holding, with Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec owning a 20 percent stake.

Fluxys Europe BV is the Fluxys subsidiary holding the group's non-regulated Belgian activities and its activities outside Belgium. (Writing by Philip Blenkinsop; Additional reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff in Frankfurt; Editing by Mark Potter)