Ireland's Bord Gais selects $1.54B bid from Centrica-led consortium

A consortium including British Gas owner Centrica, Brookfield Renewable Power and iCON Infrastructure has been selected as the preferred bidder for acquisition of Ireland’s state-owned energy firm Bord Gais Energy.

The consortium was selected after submission of a revised bid with an enterprise value of up to €1.12 billion (US$1.54 billion).  On Nov. 27, Ireland’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pat Rabbitte announced bids submitted during the initial call for offers would not be accepted, opening a second round for proposals that would meet or exceed the €1 billion reserve price.

If finalized, the deal would have Centrica take direct control of the Bord Gais power and gas distribution services in Ireland and the purchase of a gas-fired power station in Cork, reports The Guardian.

Terms of the deal would also give consortium partner Brookfield control over a network of Bord Gais wind power farms, while iCON would take on distribution assets in Northern Ireland, said the source.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin and Minister Rabbitte both expressed they were pleased with the final bidder, commenting the decision could boost jobs and economic growth for Ireland.

“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,” said Ministers Rabbitte and Howlin.

“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.”

Bord Gais and the selected consortium will now enter discussions on finalizing the terms of the sale agreement.  Upon regulatory and merger approvals, the sale is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014.

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