Bord Gais invites power firms to make final offers for retail unit
Bord Gais Eireann invited Blackstone Group and power companies Viridian and Centrica to make final offers for its retail unit by November 25, sources have said.
The state-owned gas company will only entertain bids for the entire retail and power generation unit despite fielding approaches for individual assets such as wind farms, sources added.
The Government is keen to pick a preferred bidder before it exits its international aid programme on December 15, another source said.
Viridian, the North's largest energy supplier, was the only bidder to submit an offer above a €1bn reserve in the last round of bids in September.
While the Government agreed to sell the unit under its bailout in 2010, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said it will only do so if it gets a "fair price".
Blackstone, which expressed an interest in Bord Gais Energy before bowing out before first-round bids in June, re-entered the process in the past month.
Viridian's bid is backed by Macquarie Group.
Spokesmen for Bord Gais, Blackstone, Centrica and Viridian declined to comment.
Tenaga, Malaysia's biggest energy producer, scrapped a bid for the business last month, chief financial officer Fazlur Rahman Zainuddin said recently.