Energy supplier Centrica plans bid for North’s Viridian

Centrica, the largest energy supplier to UK homes, is preparing a bid for the North’s power company Viridian Group, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Energy supplier Centrica plans bid for North’s Viridian

Centrica is working as part of a consortium as Viridian’s owner Arcapita Bank BSC awaits first-round offers from potential bidders by Friday evening in Belfast, said one of the people, who asked not to be named, as the process is private.

Australian financial services firm AMP is also among parties lining up an offer, said another person.

Arcapita, which bought Viridian in 2006, may sell the business for more than €1bn, it was previously reported.

Arcapita filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US in 2012 after talks with creditors over a syndicated loan failed, exiting bankruptcy a year later after securing finance from Goldman Sachs.

Centrica entered the Irish energy market in 2014, buying state-owned energy firm Bord Gais Energy for €1.1bn as part of a group including Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners and iCON Infrastructure.

While Centrica led the bid, it only bought €210m of the assets, made up of BGE’s gas and electricity supply business and a gas-fired power station.

Brookfield, which bought BGE’s wind energy assets, has also been assessing Viridian’s wind business, according to one person familiar with the matter.

Spokesmen for Arcapita, Centrica and Brookfield declined to comment.

Officials at AMP did not return a call or email to the company’s London office seeking comment.

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