Thursday 23 November 2017

Price of Bord Gais Energy to be revealed by end of month

Maeve Dineen

THE Government will be informed of the potential sale price for the Bord Gais Energy business by the end of the month.

New Era, the division of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) that manages the Government's stake in semi-state companies, must complete its valuation process for the sale of Bord Gais's Energy business by March 31, the Irish Independent has learnt.

The sale will form the main part of the €3bn disposal of state assets and could see a new player emerge on the Irish energy market.

Bord Gais's gas transmission and distribution systems and the two interconnectors will remain in state ownership.

Investment bank Barclays Capital has been hired by the NTMA to advise on the sale options for Bord Gais.

The Government is obliged to sell some state assets as part of the IMF-EU bailout programme.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte has said that a sale of Bord Gais's energy division would be "compatible with our objectives" if it attracted a big player into the market.

But the Government has previously said there would be no "fire sales" and that important transmission and distribution infrastructure would stay in state ownership.

Some of ESB's non-strategic power generation capacity has also been put on the block, but the Government held back on selling a minority stake in it.

One-third of the €3bn funds raised from the sale of the semi-state assets can be used for job creation under an agreement with the IMF/EU/ECB bailout team.


Coillte's assets -- though not the land -- are also up for sale, as is the State's remaining shareholding in Aer Lingus.

But the Government is adamant that any sale of the Aer Lingus stake would take place only when market conditions were right and at an acceptable price.

New Era is a specific division of the NTMA that was established last September to manage the Government's holdings in commercial state assets from a shareholder's perspective.

It has a specific remit to carry out advisory roles on the possible restructuring or disposal of commercial semi-state company assets as required under the bailout programme.

Irish Independent

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