Ireland picks Britain's Centrica-led consortium for €1.2 billion gas utility sale
Ireland picked a consortium led by Britain's Centrica for a €1.12 billion ($1.5 billion) acquisition of the retail unit of its gas utility Bord Gais Energy. Reuters in a report said the deal is a major milestone as Ireland prepares to complete its international bailout program.
Opposition politicians and trade unions, however, criticized the sale. They argued that the price was too low and there was no pressure to conclude a deal now that the economy is starting to look healthier, the report said.
According to Reuters, the sale had appeared stalled last month when Dublin failed to secure acceptable bids. The Irish government had aimed to secure up to half of its €3 billion asset sale target through the exit of Bord Gais' unit.
Ireland's energy ministry on Thursday said it has now picked a consortium of British energy supplier Centrica PLC, Brookfield Renewable Power Inc. and investment firm iCON Infrastructure. Their collective bid has an enterprise value of €1.12 billion, the report said.
The sale agreement is expected to be signed in early 2014, Reuters said.