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ESB price per share drops

Staff have valued their 5pc stake in the ESB at just over €90m, or 91 cents a share, in the latest 'market day'.

Almost 11,000 current and former employees hold the shares through an employee share participation programme (ESOP).

But some retired staff, who must sell shares in the coming years regardless of price, want the ESOP to be wound up.

One trading day was held in 2012, when the ESOP stepped in to buy 3.6 million shares. No trading day was held last year but one took place last week.

The price per share means the staff holding is valued at less than half the official valuation placed on ESB shares. The agency is valued at €4bn, so a 5pc stake would be worth €200m. PwC acts as administrator for the trading, but has no role in price-setting.