The Carlyle Group has agreed to increase its shareholding in VARO Energy, an energy company active in North West Europe.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, sees Carlyle acquire the stake in VARO currently owned by Reggeborgh, a Dutch private investment company. Vitol Group’s shareholding in VARO remains unchanged.
Founded in 2012 with the acquisition of the Cressier Refinery (CH), VARO has grown rapidly to become one of the leading energy transition focused downstream businesses in North West Europe. Significant additions to the platform include the majority shares in the Bayernoil refineries, and a merger with Argos. Today, the business offers a variety of products such as diesel and gasoline (for transportation), heating oil (for homes), fuel oil (for ships), aviation fuel (for aeroplanes), bitumen (for road construction) and LPG. VARO is particularly focused on the renewable / bio component element of these products and already generates a significant part of its income from these streams. VARO’s products are sold through a network of production and storage facilities, distribution channels and sales points.
VARO is well-positioned to grow its existing renewable products business and to capture the opportunities presented by the energy transition. The company is already a leading player in the sourcing, blending and sales & marketing of biofuels in Western Europe, which meets the rising demand for products that minimise environmental impact. Furthermore, VARO’s distribution footprint and supply relationships can accommodate fuels with higher renewable content. The business’ core markets across Western Europe include countries at the forefront of embracing the shift to a lower carbon future.
Equity for the transaction will come from the Carlyle International Energy Partners II fund, which invests in oil and gas opportunities outside North America – notably in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer of VARO, says: “We’re very pleased with the extended commitment of Carlyle towards VARO. The energy transition creates many significant opportunities and VARO is uniquely positioned to create value in these changing markets. I am excited for the company’s future, and the strong partnership with Carlyle and Vitol will be crucial to our ongoing success.”
Marcel van Poecke, Managing Director and Head of Carlyle International Energy Partners, says: “Our investment thesis for VARO seven years ago was to build a refining and marketing platform of scale in Europe. Since then, VARO has chartered an impressive growth trajectory and we are delighted with what has been achieved. We believe there continues to be strong opportunities for the company’s future growth as it leverages its solid platform and further capitalises on the opportunities presented by the shift towards low carbon. Carlyle is excited to continue to support the strategy of building a leading energy transition company and have reconfirmed our commitment to the company’s future through the increased stake.”
Russell Hardy, Chief Executive of Vitol, says: “We believe VARO has a key role to play in Europe’s energy transition. It will deploy its assets and expertise to offer customers optimal energy solutions as their needs evolve. We look forward to continuing to work with Carlyle and the VARO management team on this exciting new phase for VARO and thank Reggeborgh for their support and contribution to date.”
Source: Private Equity Wire
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