independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Government to sell Bord Gais for €1.125bn

New bid deal agreed three weeks after sale withdrawal

Pat Rabbitte

The Government today has agreed to sell Bord Gais Energy to a consortium for €1.125bn.

Independent.ie has learned that it will sell the company to a consortium made up of British Gas owned Centrica, Brookfield Renewables and iCON Infrastructure.

The Government and bidders are now in exclusive final stage negotiations with the buyers were given the go ahead to finalise and sign a Share Purchase Agreement  - a contract to buy the company.

Earlier, independent.ie broke the news that bids for company had increased, withing weeks of the sale process apparently having been pulled.

Last month the Minister for Communications and Energy Pat Rabbitte announced he was withdrawing Bord Gais from sale as bids for the company failed to hit the Government’s price target.

“I said at the time that there wasn't any question of selling state assets at bargain basement prices,” Minister Rabbitte told RTE news this evening.

"So we rejected the bids at that price but all three bidders came back and we selected our preferred bidder."

“I think it represents a vote of confidence in the Irish economy," he said.  "This is a very significant player with 40,000 employees worldwide.”

It is understood the Government were originally expecting up to €1.4bn for Bord Gais. Three formal bids stalled after only hitting the €1bn mark.

It is understood that Bord Gais has begin contacting staff at the state owned company to update them on how the sale will affect their jobs at the company.

Most of Bord Gais is to be sold, however the network that carries gas across the country will not be sold because it is regarded as vital national infrastructure.

Mr Rabbitte told RTE that "the jobs are secure" at the company and that the proceeds of the sale will go towards job creation in the country.

Irish Independent

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