Government silent as firm drops Bord Gáis bid

The Government has refused to comment on the effect that the withdrawal of Tenaga Nasional will have on the bidding process for the sale of Bord Gáis.

The Malaysian state power firm Tenaga Nasional has scrapped its bid for the retail arm of Bord Gáis, the Southeast Asian firm’s chief financial officer said yesterday.

“We want to focus on our current projects, especially domestic ones,” Fazlur Rahman Zainuddinhe said at a media briefing after announcing Tenaga’s fourth-quarter earnings results.

Tenaga saw net profit for the quarter fall sharply due to higher operating costs and a weaker ringgit.

Several other unnamed utility companies, infrastructure funds and private equity firms have also put in bids to buy Bord Gáis Energy.

The remaining bids are from a group led by Viridian Group Ltd, backed by Macquarie Group Ltd, and from Centrica Plc, Britain’s largest power company, accordingto people with knowledge of the matter.

The Viridian-led offer is above a €1bn reserve set by Bord Gáis, while Centrica’s is below, said three people who asked not to be identified as the process is private.

The Bord Gáis unit, which owns 15% of Ireland’s installed wind farms, had been expected to fetch as much as €1.4bn, two people said on May 24.

Officials from Bord Gáis, Centrica, Viridian, Northern Ireland’s largest energy supplier, and Macquarie declined to comment on the process.

The sale is part of a plan by the Government to sell state assets worth €3bn as part of its European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout.

The state-owned group wants to complete the sale by the end of the year.


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