Centrica set to bid for NI energy firm ViridianThursday 14 January 2016 17.01
Centrica, the largest energy supplier to UK homes, is preparing a bid for Northern Irish power company Viridian Group, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Bloomberg is reporting that 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.
It is understood Arcapita, which bought Viridian in 2006, may sell the business for more than €1bn.
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 the State-owned Bord Gáis Energy for €1.1bn as part of a group including Brookfield Renewable Energy and iCON Infrastructure.
While Centrica led the bid, it only bought €210m of the assets, made up of Bord Gáis Energy’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.
Spokespeople for Arcapita, Centrica and Brookfield declined to comment, while officials at AMP did not return a call or e-mail to the company’s London office seeking comment.