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. Legislation has been passed which will relax the current rules governing internet sales, making the licence more attractive to buyers. It is reported that the licence could cost €600 million to secure. Australian gaming firm, Tatts is reportedly appointing advisors in Ireland in preparation for the sale. An Post, the State company that has been operating the license for the past 26 years, has also reportedly indicated that it will join forces with Italian operator G-Tech in a bid for the licence.
It is reported that the first round of formal bids for Bord Gáis Energy (BGE) are likely to be made in the coming weeks as the State moves to sell the energy business which supplies electricity and natural gas to consumers and businesses. BGE will reportedly issue an Information Memorandum detailing what is for sale to likely suitors next week. NewEra, a division of Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), has been mandated to sell BGE. RBC Capital Markets has reportedly been appointed as financial adviser and Royal Bank of Scotland as adviser on credit rating and funding issues relating to the proposed sale. British utility Centrica, GDF, Suez and EON are reportedly tipped as potential buyers. Reports claim the business will have a price tag of over €1 billion.
The Government is reportedly considering selling its €1.8 billion preference shares in Bank of Ireland. The report claimed that the Department of Finance has sounded out several corporate finance companies with a potential sale of the State’s preference shares in mind.
The Government has indicated its intention to sell its stake in Aer Lingus as part of its program of state asset sales agreed with the EU/ECB/IMF troika. It is reported that NewEra has advertised for a panel of external consultants who will support the unit on corporate finance, accountancy, tax and pensions in relation to the disposal programme.
The Government has confirmed that agreement has been reached with Canada-based Great West Lifeco for the sale of Irish Life, the state-owned pensions and assurance business, for €1.3 billion with an additional dividend of €40 million being paid to the State prior to completion. The sale is expected to finalise in July 2013.