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NTR set to start sale of US business

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NTR Chief Executive Rosheen McGuickian

NTR Chief Executive Rosheen McGuickian

NTR Chief Executive Rosheen McGuickian

Utility group NTR will start a formal sales process this month to offload its US-based Wind Capital unit as it refocuses its business on Europe.

In September, investors in NTR, including One51, called for the immediate sale of Wind Capital. NTR acquired its initial stake in the US firm in 2008, paying $150m for a 62pc holding. In 2012, it boosted its stake to 97pc. NTR, headed by chief executive Rosheen McGuckian, has been under pressure to sell the US business and to rethink its European wind energy strategy.

The firm, which once owned Greenstar, the West Link toll bridge in Dublin and had a big stake in Airtricity, suffered badly recently as investments soured.

It reported massive losses and retreated from investments, including a share in a US-based solar energy company. NTR's biggest shareholder is Woodford Capital, the vehicle controlled by NTR chairman Tom Roche.

Following its annual general meeting in September, NTR agreed to sell its US wind energy business and to subsequently undertake a tender offer for the group's shares. That tender offer will enable One51 and another big shareholder, Nick Furlong's Pageant Holdings, to end their involvement with NTR.

Irish Independent