13 March 2024

Investing in Liquin’s future

On 1 December 2023, Infracapital acquired Vopak’s three Botlek terminals, adding them to its extensive infrastructure portfolio. At the same time, the former Vopak subsidiary rebranded itself and became Liquin. “We were looking for a liquid chemical storage company strategically located and with significant growth potential,” says Lee Hamano-Crossingham, Asset Management Director at Infracapital. “The Botlek terminals ticked all the boxes.”

Taking a long-term view

With a focus on Europe, Infracapital invests in, manages and builds a diverse range of next-generation infrastructure. It has invested in many assets including ports, terminal operators, renewable energy companies, transport companies, water utilities, telecom masts and fibre broadband networks amongst others. “We manage our investments with a view to sustainable growth,” Lee continues. “That means we take a long-term view with a horizon of up to 15 years. Over that time, we want to grow and develop our assets for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

Operating independently

In addition to a long-term outlook, Infracapital also empowers its management teams to drive their assets on a day-to-day basis. “We are big believers in backing high-quality management teams. They need to have the skills, experience and ambition to be able operate independently,” says Lee. “Liquin already has a great deal of knowledge and experience across its team and are recognised leaders in chemical handling and storage. Our role is to support management to leverage these advantages to unlock maximum value from the newly independent business for all of its stakeholders.”

Supporting growth ambitions

How will Infracapital support the company in fulfilling its growth ambitions? “In addition to providing fresh capital to facilitate Liquin’s growth, Infracapital has experience delivering corporate carve-outs, such as our prior investments in Recharge (carve-out from Fortum) and Neos (carve-out from SSE). We will leverage best practice from across our portfolio of over 60 companies and help frame the long-term strategic vision for the company and its role in supporting the energy transition,” explains Lee. “We have regular contact with Liquin management and are always available to offer support and advice based on our own knowledge and experience.”

Becoming truly independent

In the short term, Liquin still has a lot of work to do to detach itself from Vopak. It still has links to the IT systems of its former parent company and frame contracts with suppliers need to be revised and localised. “Over the next 12 months, the focus will be on becoming a truly independent company,” says Lee. “These steps are essential, but when done strategically, they will provide the basis from which Liquin can deliver on its long-term ambitions.”

Growth opportunities

One of the key factors for Liquin’s future growth is the spare land available at its three terminals. This will allow the company to expand its facilities to include storage solutions for circular chemicals, renewable and sustainable products along with traditional chemicals. Upgrades to the existing facilities are also an option. “We’re very eager to support Liquin so it can create a range of new opportunities for its clients and grow the business,” adds Lee.

Fast, decisive action

Liquin’s commitment to its goals is demonstrated by the speed with which it rebranded after the acquisition by Infracapital. “We’re very proud that the new company name and logo were developed and adopted by the entire workforce in such a short space of time,” says Lee. “It shows that Liquin is a nimble and results-oriented company that can pull together to achieve high-quality results quickly, and that bodes well for the future.”

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