Viridian to face sale in Arcapita shake-up

Parent agrees rescue in US courts


The owner of Irish energy company Viridian faces the prospect of being sold following a shake-up at its parent, Arcapita.

Viridian is owned by Bahrain-based investment group Arcapita. The company owns electricity and gas supplier Energia, two power plants in Dublin and PowerNI in the North.

Part of the Bahrain-based company, Arcapita Investment Holdings Limited emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, a rescue procedure overseen by the courts. It sought bankruptcy earlier this year as a $1.1 billion loan fell due.

Under the terms of the rescue deal approved by a Manhattan court, Arcapita is placing its assets in a new company and will dispose of them in a structured fashion over time to avoid a fire sale. The holding company is one of several Arcapita entities that have a stake in Viridian.

It is understood the development will have no impact on Viridian’s day-to-day operations. The company is self-financing and does not rely on its shareholder for support.

Bond repayment
It recently announced it would use €47 million cash from its own resources to redeem part of a bond due for repayment in 2017. Arcapita has confirmed its long-term plan for the Irish company is to sell it. Viridian, including Energia, has a 28 per cent share of the all-island business electricity and gas market.

It currently supplies power to more than 65,000 business and industrial customers in Ireland and powers all public street lighting in the Republic.

Power NI supplies 650,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland. Recent reports named it as a possible suitor for Bord Gáis Energy, although it would face possible competition issues if any bid that it made were to succeed.