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The proposed sale of Bord Gáis Energy has been reawakened this evening as Minister Pat Rabitte has confirmed that a revised set of offers had been received from the three bidders, and one has been selected as the preferred bidder.
The winning consortium has offered €1.12B and is led by Centrica which operates the British Gas brand in the UK. Other members of the consortium include Brookfield Renewable Power and iCON infrastructure.
Minister Pat Rabitte confirmed this evening that the three bidders had returned to the table with revised bids which "materially increased the value for Bord Gáis Energy". The three bids are understood to have come from US Private Equity giant Blackstone, energy company Viridian which operates under the brand Energia in Ireland and the consortium led by Centrica, which has been selected as the preferred bidder.
Minister Rabbitte believes the sale of Bord Gáis Energy is a vote of confidence in the Irish market and said:
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 sale of Bord Gáis Energy does not include the pipeline network infrastructure which is to be retained and will continue to operate as Bord Gáis Networks as part of Bord Gáis Éireann.
Rose Hynes the chairperson of Bord Gáis Éireann commented
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.
It is widely expected that Bord Gáis Energy will be deregulated for natural gas prices during Q1 of 2014 which will enable the new owners to set their own prices for natural gas as well as electricity. No announcement has been made as of yet as to how consumers may be affected by the move.
The deal is expected to conclude early in 2014 with half of the proceeds to be made available to stimulate job creation and the remainder to write down debt.