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Bord Gais delays €1bn payment

Almost a third of the €1.1bn made on the privatisation of Bord Gais Energy will not be repaid to the State for several years, it has emerged.

The sale of the energy side of the company to a trio of investors closed last month for €16m less than management had valued it at, the company confirmed.

Michael O'Sullivan, group finance director, revealed €150m has been paid to the exchequer, with another €480 to be handed over by the end of the year.

The balance of the cash is being used by Bord Gais to repay debts.

The company said that it plans to pay the State a dividend totalling more than €300m in the future as a result of restructuring and debt repayment.

"So in total, as a direct consequence of the sale, we are in a position to return up to a billion in total to the State over the next number of years," Mr O'Sullivan added.

Bord Gais will run Irish Water and a re-branded networks division under its new name Ervia.

It recorded a pre-tax profit of €171m in 2013. Its balance sheet soared into the red to an after-tax loss of €169m when exception charges were taken in to account. The figure includes an impairment of €224m in its energy business, primarily linked to its Whitegate combined-cycle gas turbine plan in Cork.

The company also lost €72m on the sale of the energy business, including €18m on professional services.