Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, announced in mid December that they have approved the selection of a preferred bidder for the proposed acquisition of Bord Gáis Energy, a leading gas and electricity supplier in Ireland.
Following the announcement by Minister Rabbitte on 27 November that bids received at that date were not acceptable, revised bids were received which offered materially increased value for Bord Gáis Energy. A consortium comprising Centrica plc, Brookfield Renewable Power Inc and iCON Infrastructure has now been selected as preferred bidder for Bord Gáis Energy on the basis of its revised bid which has an enterprise value of up to €1.12 billion.
Discussions will now commence between Bord Gáis Éireann and the preferred bidder on finalising the terms of the sale agreement which is expected to be signed in early 2014. In parallel, Bord Gáis Éireann will engage with its employees, their trade union representatives, and the preferred bidder over employee related matters arising from the proposed sale.
It is expected that the sale agreement, when concluded, would lead to a formal completion in the first half of 2014 once all regulatory and merger approvals are received.
Irish Ministers Rabbitte and Howlin said:
"We are pleased with this development, which has led to materially improved value being offered and the selection of a preferred bidder. Each consortium member brings with it deep industry experience and significant financial strength to support the continued investment in the business. The entry into the all-island energy market of international strategic investors is a strong vote of confidence in the market, the Irish economy and in the Bord Gais Energy business and its employees. The successful conclusion of the sale will help provide additional funding to enable investment in infrastructure and jobs. The Departments and NewERA will continue to work with Bord Gáis Éireann to complete the sale of Bord Gáis Energy in early 2014, in accordance with the recently enacted Gas Regulation Act."
Rose Hynes, the Chairperson of Bord Gáis Éireann, added:
"The sale process has now reached an important milestone with the appointment of a preferred bidder. The company will continue to work with staff, unions and relevant Government departments to complete the process by early 2014."