Part of the recovery plan for Ireland – agreed with the IMF and ECB – is the sale of assets to raise capital.
One of the major sell offs which will directly affect many Irish consumers is the sale of Bord Gais Energy – the retail arm of Bord Gais which is being sold off this year and is expected to raise €1.5 Billion.
Several UK utility firms are expected to make bids for Bord Gais Energy – with Centrica, the owner of British Gas probably the front runner. Eon, EDF and GDF are also likely bidders.
The sale is due to be completed by the end of 2013.
The sale will be proceeded by the deregulation of the gas prices charged by Bord Gais – which means that the new owners will be able to charge whatever they want for gas. Currently the commission for energy regulation has to agree the price of gas charged by Bord Gais – although other suppliers can charge what they like. The other gas suppliers curreently undercut Bord Gais – so we can expect to see Bord Gais drop prices this summer. It will be interesting to see if having a new owner of Bord Gais will have an effect on gas prices in Ireland.
When ESB was deregulated – they had a rebrand and became Electric Ireland. Hopefully Bord Gais won’t waste taxpayers money on rebranding just before it is sold off?
Bord Gais Energy is being sold off – but Bord Gais will still control Irish Water which should be up and running fully in 2014.