Irish engineering group GDG bought by UK's Venterra

Cash and shares deal expected to create 230 new jobs by 2024 mainly in Ireland

Irish engineering group Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions (GDG), which specialises in flood defence systems and wind-energy installations, has been acquired by a newly formed UK company for an undisclosed sum.

The cash and shares deal will lead to the creation of 230 GDG posts, predominantly in Ireland, over the next three years.

GDG and two other renewable energy companies – Osbit and FoundOcean – have been taken over by the UK group Venterra, a coming-together of British businessman Ayman Asfari and other climate technology investors.

Venterra is hoping to capitalise on the massive pick-up in demand for offshore wind energy.


GDG, which has worked on major Irish as well as overseas engineering projects, including offshore wind projects in Taiwan, Baltic Sea and China Sea, currently employs 120 people, the majority based here.

‘Clean-energy world’

"The transition to a clean-energy world is not just an environmental imperative but is also a huge commercial opportunity for companies like ours and, indeed, for countries right across the world, not least Ireland given our natural renewable resources," GDG chief executive and founder Paul Doherty said.

"GDG's acquisition is a very significant piece in the establishment of the Venterra Group and this reflects the quality of the team we have here in Ireland and our trajectory as a company,"he said.

“This will enable us expand our operations here significantly in Ireland and we will immediately commence our recruitment programme, offering positions in a cutting-edge company working in a space that is going to bring huge societal gain,” he said.

Wind speeds

By 2030, renewables are expected to provide 90 per cent of the growth in global electricity demand. The Irish market also offers significant opportunity, not least in floating offshore wind development, particularly off Ireland’s west coast due to the unrivalled mix of wind speeds and seabed, which is 11 times its landmass.

Venterra calculates that its global addressable market will be an average of £8 billion (€9.4 billion) a year over the next decade as its capacity.

“To enable Venterra to play a significant role in the industry’s growth, it has assembled a strong board and management team with a business plan to invest around £250 million in cash and by the issue of shares by mid-2022 in capabilities across the windfarm life cycle,” it said.

The company said it would – at some future point – seek a public listing for its shares “to maintain its growth trajectory”.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times