Bord Gáis Energy to be sold to consortium for €1.1 billion

All staff will transfer to the new consortium with their existing working terms and conditions.

All Bord Gáis Energy staff  are to transfer to the new consortium with their existing working terms and conditions.

All Bord Gáis Energy staff are to transfer to the new consortium with their existing working terms and conditions.

Tue, Mar 25, 2014, 07:39

A final agreement to sell Bord Gáis Energy to a consortium comprising Centrica, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners and Icon Infrastructure has been reached.

The enterprise value of the deal is €1.1 billion.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of June. As part of the transaction, the consortium will also take over responsibility for providing collateral and other support for the continuation of commodity procurement and trading by Bord Gáis Energy.

The Government approved the bid from the consortium in mid-December, just two weeks after it rejected a number of bids because they put too low a value on the State-owned energy provider.

Opposition parties and interested groups, including trade unions, said the value of the company is somewhat higher than that agreed with the winning consortium.

All Bord Gáis Energy staff will transfer to the new consortium with their existing working terms and conditions.

The State will retain ownership of the natural gas network, which transports gas around the State, as the Government believes that this is strategically important.

Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin welcomed the announcement that a definitive agreement had been reached over Bord Gáis Energy.

“The commitment made by these buyers to acquire the business is a strong vote of confidence in the Irish energy market, the Irish economy and in the Bord Gáis Energy business and its employees. The sale proceeds will provide additional funding to Government to enable further investment in infrastructure and jobs,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

PROFILE: THE CONSORTIUM

Centrica

The British-based multi- national supplies gas and electricity to businesses and consumers in Britain through British Gas, which was state owned until the early 1990s. The company has around 13 million customers there between the two categories.

It also has a big home services business, maintaining water boilers and heating systems meaning that it and Bord Gáis Energy have a lot in common.

In the first six months of this year, it made profits of almost £1.4 billion from sales of £13.6 billion. It had around £800m in cash at the end of June.

It operates similar businesses in the US and Canada, once again focused on gas and electricity sales and home services. These activities are backed up by power generation, energy trading and some oil and gas exploration and production. It has oil field interests in the North Sea and Caribbean.

Brookfield Renewables

The Canadian-based stock-market-traded firm specialises in investing in renewable energy suppliers and developers. In the first nine months of this year its investments earned a return of $936m from revenues of just over $1.3 billion.

Its biggest business is hydroelectric electricity generation in Canada, Brazil and the US. That is followed by wind power in North America. In all, its operations have the capacity to generate around 4,400 giga watts of electricity, around 800 times peak demand in the Republic.

Brookfield’s primary interest in Bord Gáis Energy is understood to be the fact that it is one of the biggest wind farm developers in Ireland, thanks to its takeover of the SWS renewables business.

Icon Infrastructure

An investment firm which focuses on infrastructure. Its interests include a Spanish oil pipeline operator, CLH, The Porterbrook Partnership, which leases passenger trains to British railway companies, Sutton and East Surrey Water in England, and a cargo terminal operator in Mexico.

One of its more significant interests is Mountaineer Gas, a natural gas distribution business in the US that supplies around 220,000 in West Virginia. It was suggested yesterday that Icon is interested in Bord Gáis’s northern Irish operation, Firmus.

According to its website, Icon’s assets in Europe and North American are worth more than €2.5 billion while it has responsibility for managing more than €1 billion of its investors cash.