Centrica Plc (CNA), the U.K.’s largest household energy supplier, picked Citigroup Inc. (C) to advise on a potential bid for the retail unit of Irish state-owned gas company Bord Gais Eireann, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Goodbody Stockbrokers and law firm Arthur Cox, both based in Dublin, have also been retained by Centrica to help with an offer for the gas and electricity supplier, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. Bord Gais set a June 12 deadline for indicative bids for the unit, which may be valued at as much as 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion), including debt, two people said on May 24.
The business, Bord Gais Energy, also owns 15 percent of Ireland’s installed wind farms. Officials from Centrica, Citigroup, and Goodbody Stockbrokers declined to comment on the process. Arthur Cox spokeswoman Rachel Hussey didn’t return a call to her office on May 24 or immediately respond to messages left today.
“The Irish and U.K. energy markets are closely linked so it’s natural for us to be interested in what goes on there,” Windsor, U.K. based Centrica said in an e-mailed response to questions.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said last week that Ireland is also committed to selling two overseas power stations and the National Lottery license by the end of the year. The disposals are as part the nation’s agreement to raise 3 billion euros from asset sales under its 2010 international bailout.
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 March 17. Blackstone Group LP has also received an information circulated to potential bidders, the Irish Times said on May 25.
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