Wednesday 21 March 2018

Centrica out of running for €1bn Viridian buy

Centrica CEO Iain Conn. Photo: Bloomberg
Centrica CEO Iain Conn. Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

British utility giant Centrica, which owns Bord Gáis Energy, has failed to make the cut in the second round of the €1bn-plus auction of Irish power firm Viridian, which operates as Energia here.

Bahrain private equity fund Arcapita put Viridian up for sale last year.

In Northern Ireland, Viridian owns Power NI, where it supplies electricity to about 610,000 homes and businesses. In the Republic, Viridian owns Energia, which supplies electricity to the domestic and commercial market. A sale would include two power stations in north county Dublin, and an extensive windfarm portfolio.

Centrica, which bought Bord Gáis Energy in 2014 for €1.1bn and is headed by Iain Conn, was perceived to be a prime candidate for acquiring Viridian.

Industry publication 'SparkSpread' has revealed that Centrica is now out of the running, having failed to submit a high enough bid for Viridian in the second round of the auction process and has been eliminated.

A spokeswoman for Centrica declined to comment.

Other groups still in the running are AES, EQT, I Squared Capital, AMP and Goldman Sachs Infrastructure, according to 'SparkSpread'.

Irish Independent

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