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Bord Gais claims sale of company could hit its finances

Bord Gais has warned investors that if the Government proceeds with the privatisation of the company, it could impact on its financial position and operations.

The gas distributor and retail business has circulated a new bond prospectus outlining a range of risk factors in the current economic climate, including the implications of the recent McCarthy report.

"Any privatisation, if adopted . . . and implemented, could potentially have a material impact on BGE's businesses and its results of operations and financial position."

However, the company admits that despite the firm conclusions of the McCarthy report, the Government has not sanctioned the sale of the company -- which is 3.2pc owned by staff -- into the private sector.

Bord Gais is regarded as the most likely state company to be sold and it recently reported rising turnover and profits.

While its distribution assets have been hived off into a separate company, they are still owned by Bord Gais, but would be unlikely to form any part of a private-sector sale.


McCarthy's report issued in April, but there has been no public follow-up in terms of actual sales processes. Another asset likely to be sold is the licence to run the National Lottery.

"Bord Gais Ireland (BGE) currently owns and operates some of the key energy infrastructure and services on the island of Ireland.

"Any failure by BGE to comply with relevant Irish, Northern Irish and European competition law could result in penalties being imposed on BGE.

"There can be no assurance that the imposition of any such penalties would not have a material adverse effect on BGE's business," states the bond prospectus.

Irish Independent