On 22 February 2012 the Government of Ireland announced an asset disposal programme including Bord Gáis Energy, Bord Gáis Éireann's energy division.  On 3 May 2013, Bord Gáis Éireann announced that it has commenced the sale process for Bord Gáis Energy.

1. Background

Bord Gáis Energy is the first state-owned asset set to be sold as part of the agreement between the Government of Ireland and European Union and International Monetary Fund troika to raise some €3 billion from the privatisation of State-owned companies to pay down debt accumulated as part of the bailout programme.  In addition to Bord Gáis Energy, parts of ESB (now Electric Ireland) and the forestry company Coillte could also be sold off in the future.

2. Bord Gáis Energy

Bord Gáis Energy is a vertically integrated utility, operating in the Irish electricity generation and supply market and has a substantial portfolio of new assets under development. Bord Gáis Energy is targeting earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of approximately €160m by 2015 and €250m by 2018.

Bord Gáis Energy's business includes:

  • a energy supply business in Ireland, servicing circa 775,000 customers;
  • the 445MW Whitegate CCGT plant;
  • a considerable scale portfolio of onshore wind assets (comprising operational assets, assets in construction and a substantial development portfolio); and
  • firmus energy, an energy supply and distribution network business in Northern Ireland

Bord Gáis Networks, the other major division of Bord Gáis Éireann, will remain in State ownership  

3. The status of sale process

Bord Gáis Éireann has announced to commence the sale process for Bord Gáis Energy in early May and expects the sale to be completed by the end of this year, subject to market conditions.

It has appointed RBC Capital Markets as its financial advisor.  An information memorandum will be issued to interested parties who must sign a confidentiality agreement.

NewEra, the division of Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) which is responsible for the sale of Irish government assets, has hired Barclays Capital as its financial adviser.

4. Potential sale of ESB's assets

It is reported that the Irish government hopes to dispose ESB's power station interests in Amorbieta, Spain, and Marchwood, England by the end of the year.

If you may be interested in the above or if you would like further information regarding our power sector M&A experience, please contact any of David Clinch, Hilary Lau or Monica Sun.