Blackstone Group and Viridian Group, Northern Ireland’s largest energy company, have submitted final-round bids for Bord Gáis Eireann’s Energy unit, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A preferred bidder may be picked within weeks, the sources added.

The Government agreed to sell Bord Gáis’s retail and power generation business, which includes about 15% of the country's wind farms, under its 2010 international bailout. 

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said the sale will only proceed if it achieves a 'fair price'.