Final day for Bord Gáis unit bids

Today is the last day that companies can submit bids to buy the retail and power generation unit of the semi-State gas company Bord Gáis.

It is understood that there are a number of interested parties looking to bid for the company, which will be sold by the end of the year.

A spokesperson for NewERA, the Government body set up to oversee the sale of State assets, said it could not comment on the sale. “As announced by Bord Gáis Éireann on 3 May 2013, the sale process for Bord Gáis Energy has commenced and, subject to market conditions, it is expected that the sale will be concluded by the end of 2013. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of this matter, no further comment will be provided on the sale process at this time,” NewERA said.

Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia’s largest power group, is believed to be considering a bid for Bord Gáis Energy, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

A successful offer would mark the Kuala Lumpur-based company’s initial foray into the European utilities market, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified, as the talks are private.

Fazlur Rahman Zainuddin, chief financial officer at Tenaga, didn’t immediately respond to calls and email seeking comment on the planned bid.

UK energy companies Centrica plc and SSE plc are also among companies preparing bids with initial offers for Bord Gáis Energy

A spokesperson for Bord Gáis said they could not comment.

“The sale process for Bord Gáis Energy formally commenced on 5 May 2013 and is expected to conclude by the year end. We cannot comment further at this time,” the spokesperson said.

Centrica, the UK’s largest household energy supplier, picked Citigroup, and Dublin-based Goodbody Stockbrokers, and law firm Arthur Cox to advise on a potential bid for the company, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

SSE plc, the UK’s second-biggest energy supplier, which owns wind power company Airtricity, also plans to take part in the auction.

Chief executive Ian Marchant has previously said he hoped “for Ireland’s sake” that a rival would be prepared to pay more than SSE for the unit.

Other companies that have been reported to be interested include, Singaporean oil-rig maker Keppel.

“Keppel is constantly evaluating opportunities where it is able to grow its businesses,” the company said.

GDF Suez, France’s largest utility by market value, and Germany’s E.ON has also been cited as possible buyers while Blackstone Group are also understood to have received a copy of sale documents.

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