Wednesday 17 January 2018

Viridian targets the household market despite Bord Gais bid

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Energy company Viridian said it will create 100 new jobs as it enters the residential market for gas and electricity next year, despite already being a bidder for Bord Gais Energy (BGE).

A move into the residential market will see's Viridian's Energia unit go head to head with BGE.

As such, yesterday's announcement could cast further doubts over the BGE privatisation process, which many fear has stalled after bidders baulked at the Government's €1bn valuation.

Northern Ireland based Viridian is among the only bidders still left in the running to buy BGE from the Government.

Energia provides power and gas to over 65,000 business customers in the Republic.

In Northern Ireland Viridian has around 80pc of the residential electricity market. Based in Dublin and Cork, the new Viridian jobs will be in the management, sales, marketing and operational areas of the business. The planned privatisation of BGE is the centre piece of the Government's New Era program to sell off State assets, agreed under the terms of the EU/IMF programme.

That plan is to raise €3bn in all, with one-third coming from BGE, and to split the proceeds between funding for job creation schemes and paying off a share of the national debt.

The BGE sale has already been hit by the public withdrawal of Malaysian energy firm Tenaga Nacional from the auction process, while British giant Centrica is understood to have backed away from making an offer.

As bidders have dropped away, US investment giant Blackstone was invited to rejoin a process it had walked away from last summer, but has so far held back from making any formal offer.

SECOND JOBS BOOST

Meanwhile, in a separate jobs boost, online recruiter Indeed will create 100 new jobs over the next year.

Dublin-based Indeed has already started recruiting for sales, client services, business development, marketing, finance and operations.

Indeed has sites in more than 50 countries and 28 languages and opened its first Dublin office in March last year.

It has a workforce of 100 and has already expanded into a larger premises in the Bloodstone building, on Dublin's Sir John Rogerson Quay.

It plans to double its workforce in the next 12 months.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said Ireland was now becoming the internet capital of Europe.

"The Government. . . will continue to make the changes to ensure Ireland remains competitive and a natural home for digital companies," he said.

"Indeed's growing footprint in Ireland is a welcome statement of its commitment to this country."

The company said it was looking for people who were "web savvy". Being multilingual also helps.

Indeed has four offices in the US and offices in Dublin, Dusseldorf, London and Sydney, with plans for further international expansion.

Irish Independent

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