Viridian advised on Bord Gáis bid

Viridian Group Ltd — Northern Ireland’s largest energy supplier — hired Macquarie Group Ltd to advise on its bid for the retail and power generation unit of Irish state-owned gas company Bord Gáis, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Bord Gáis continues to assess initial offers for the business, received on Jun 12, and has yet to outline when it will call for second-round bids, according to four other people, who asked not to be identified. The unit may be valued at as much as €1.4bn, including debt, two people familiar with the sale said May 28.

A successful Viridian bid may ultimately lead to a combined company with Bord Gáis Energy being put up for sale in the future. Viridian’s parent, Bahrain- based investment firm Arcapita Bank BSC, said last month that it will sell its investments “on a coordinated basis designed to maximise value” as it seeks to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.

Viridian said on Jun 20 Arcapita’s restructuring plan doesn’t affect its day-to-day business and that the Northern Ireland power company is “financially self sufficient”. It said Arcapita’s plans include that its investments be sold “over their natural investment life cycle”.

Officials from Viridian and Macquarie declined to comment on being involved in an offer for Bord Gáis Energy. Christine Heffernan, spokeswoman for Bord Gáis, declined to comment on bidders. A spokesman for Arcapita was not immediately available for comment.

Centrica, the UK’s largest home power company, and Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s biggest energy group, filed bids for Bord Gáis Energy ahead of the Jun 12 deadline, sources said at the time.

GDF Suez SA, France’s largest utility by market value, and Germany’s E.ON SE may bid for the business, the Sunday Business Post reported on Mar 17. Keppel Corp, the world’s biggest oil-rig maker, based in Singapore, is also interested in the company, the same newspaper reported on May 19.

Credit Suisse has also been advising Viridian on a potential bid, according to a source. The Sunday Times first reported Credit Suisse’s involvement in April.

Credit Suisse officials were not immediately able to comment.


Lifestyle

The long-tailed tit’s nest is an architectural marvel.Richard Collins: Altruism of the long-tailed tits or not

The flight that brought us home to Ireland after our seven months sojourn in the Canary Islands (half our stay intended, half not) was the most comfortable I’ve experienced in years. With a large plane almost entirely to yourself, you could again pretend you were somebody.Damien Enright: Wonderful to see the green, green grass of home

IRISH folklore is replete with stories of priests praying for fine weather to help farmers save their crops in wet summers. However, the opposite could soon be happening when divine powers may have to be invoked to provide rain. And not just for farmers.Donal Hickey: Praying for rain — in Ireland

Geography is often the defining factor for the destiny of an island. Those islands that lie close to the shore have often been snapped up by interests on the mainland and their morphology changed to something completely different.The Islands of Ireland: Tarbert morphed onto the mainland

More From The Irish Examiner