Who is buying Bord Gáis?

Profiles of the utility’s future owners: Centrica, Brookfield Renewables and Icon Infastructure

Centrica owns British Gas, which has has about 13 million customers

Centrica owns British Gas, which has has about 13 million customers

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 01:00

The British-based multinational supplies gas and electricity to businesses and consumers in Britain through British Gas, which was state owned until the early 1990s. The company has about 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.

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