Arcapita Bank hires JP Morgan to float Viridian

Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank has hired JP Morgan to lead a share listing for Irish energy firm, Viridian Group, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, in a deal that one said could give the firm a value, including debt, of nearly £1bn (€1.25bn).

Arcapita Bank hires JP Morgan to float Viridian

Belfast-based Viridian emerged as a holding company in 1998, after the 1993 privatisation of Northern Ireland Electricity. It now operates through its Energia and Power NI businesses, and owns two gas-fired generation plants at Huntstown, north of Dublin.

Viridian, which has been owned by Arcapita Bank since 2006, reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £99m in the year to the end of March; on £1.6bn of revenue. Net debt stood at £582.7m.

According to Thomson Reuters data, shares in UK industry peers SS&E, Centrica, Drax, United Utilities, Severn Trent and National Grid, on average, are currently trading on an enterprise value to a prospective EBITDA multiple of 10.3.

No one at Arcapita Bank was immediately available and officials at Viridian and JP Morgan declined to comment on Thursday.

Yesterday, an official at Viridian said: “We regularly work with a range of banks, including JPM, to assist with financing and strategic options.”

“We have made no decision to proceed with an IPO and JP Morgan have not been appointed as a global co-ordinator.”

The initial public offering (IPO) is expected to be launched before the end of the year with the listing likely to be in London, the sources said.

JP Morgan has been hired as global co-ordinator and will be looking to add further banks to the deal, they said.


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