STATE agency New Era has hired A&L Goodbody as legal adviser to work on the proposed sale of Bord Gais Energy (BGE).
It comes as the sale of BGE is due to kick off within weeks and is estimated to be worth €1bn to €1.5bn. The sale will exclude the Bord Gais network infrastructure.
New Era had previously appointed Barclays Capital as financial manager for the sale.
It is the first of what will be a wave of privatisations aimed at raising around €3bn in all.
Half of the cash raised will go to pay off some of the national debt.
The sales are being managed by Brendan Howlin's Department of Public Expenditure and New Era, a unit of the National Treasury Management Agency set up specifically to handle privatisations.
Half of the €3bn in cash the State is hoping to raise from the process will be put to work in the domestic economy, in an effort to stimulate job creation, under Government plans.
Precise projects that will benefit from the cash have not yet been identified, according to a draft report from the European Commission seen by the Irish Independent earlier this month.
The decisions on which ESB power stations will be sold has not been made yet, according to the same leaked report.
New Era has advertised for a panel of external consultants who will support the unit on corporate finance, accountancy, tax and pensions in relation to the disposal programme.
The NTMA has advertising for a panel of consultants from three separate lots – 10 on corporate finance, six on accounting and tax, and five on pension consultancy services.