New Era, the division of Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), has been mandated to sell Bord Gáis Energy (BGE) and other Irish government-owned assets. It is reported that Bord Gáis chief executive has said that he believes the “big 6” UK utility groups are considering making offers for BGE assets. He also reportedly stated that the Group would target possible buyers for the assets in the Far East and the Middle East. It is reported that New Era is planning to dispose of BGE’s retail and power businesses together but that the two businesses could be sold separately. It is reported that the Government will begin the sales process in the first quarter of 2013.
It is reported that Centrica, the UK-listed energy group has appointed Goodbody Stockbrokers to represent it in the auction for Bord Gáis.
It is reported that the Government has ordered the ESB to raise €400 million by selling power generation assets over the next two years. The sale is part of a wider disposal of state assets ordered by the troika. The investor update, issued by the ESB to bondholders, which contained the revelations, stated that the Government proposal had the specific objective of delivering special dividends to the Government, targeted at up to €400m by the end of 2014.
It is reported that the Government’s plan to sell an extended 20-year licence to run the national lottery has attracted considerable interest both domestically and internationally. New legislation which is currently being drafted will reportedly relax the current rules governing internet sales, making the licence more attractive to buyers.
It is reported that a flotation of Irish Life, the state-owned pensions and assurance business, is under consideration. It is reported however, that the government still favours selling the business to a trade buyer. Deutsche Bank is expected to be hired as lead advisor on the sale when it formally opens, the item reported. It said several advisers are currently in early-stage discussions with the government regarding Irish Life.
The Irish government reportedly plans to offload its stake in Aer Lingus as part of its program of state asset sales agreed with the EU/ECB/IMF troika. The timing of such a sale has not yet been revealed.