State agrees to partial merger of Bord na Móna and Coillte

Focus of merger will be on areas of overlap, says Simon Coveney

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: “A joint venture between the two companies will manage their common business activities in biomass, wind energy, shared services, and recreation and tourism.” Photograph:  EPA/Nicolas Bouvy

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: “A joint venture between the two companies will manage their common business activities in biomass, wind energy, shared services, and recreation and tourism.” Photograph: EPA/Nicolas Bouvy

Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 01:00

The Government has agreed to a partial merger between two large semi-State companies, Bord na Móna and Coillte. The Cabinet made the decision yesterday following a year-long analysis of the implications of a beneficial merger.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, who is leading a four-day trade-and-investment mission to the US, said the focus of the partial merger would be on areas of overlap.

“A joint venture between the two companies will manage their common business activities in biomass, wind energy, shared services, and recreation and tourism. This decision will maximise the levels of benefit to the State and the two companies in the medium term,” said Mr Coveney.

In-depth analysis

He added the decision was the culmination of an indepth analysis by the New Economy and Recovery Authority, and the relevant Government departments and it also included input from both companies.

Mr Coveney said he had considered the issue with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin and Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte and they had agreed a partial merger was best.

In relation to Coillte, which forms part of his responsibility for forestry, the Minister said it was over 25 years in operation and the analysis of the sale of harvesting rights and a merger had been timely.

“The decision allows Coillte to focus on its core activities in forestry and operating its board mills while allowing the company to harness those areas of synergy it has with Bord na Móna. Ultimately this decision will allow the State to derive as much value as possible from both companies.”

Coillte said it fully supported the decision and was committed to implementing the joint venture which would focus on wind energy, biomass supply, shared services and green tourism.