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Power NI's parent company on market for £700m

Power NI could be sold after bids of £700m were invited for its parent company Viridian

BELFAST energy firm Viridian Group, parent company of electricity supplier Power NI, is being offered for sale by its Bahraini owners.

And it is reported that Arcapita Bank BSC expect bids as much as £700 million for the group.

Viridian also operates Energia which provides gas and electricity to business customers across Ireland.

Arcapita, which is being advised by London-based Evercore Partners, is asking for first-round bids to be made by January 13, according to Bloomberg.

It is anticipated British energy giant Centrica will be interested. It bought Irish firm Bord Gáis Energy last year for €1.12bn (£792m).

Arcapita filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US in 2012 after talks with creditors over a syndicated loan failed.

However, it exited bankruptcy a year later after securing a $350m (£234m) loan from Goldman Sachs.

Last month, Viridian announced it was creating 35 new jobs over three years as part of a £20m investment in new IT systems.

The firm has a turnover of £1.5bn and employs 480 staff across Ireland.

Its Power NI subsidiary is the north's main supplier of electricity with more than 600,000 customers – almost three-quarters of the market.

Viridian was acquired by Arcapita in 2006 for £1.6n.

The Energia Group includes two gas-fired generation plants at Huntstown, north Dublin with a total generation capacity of 747MW.

Meanwhile, Energia Renewables facilitates the supply of around 25 per cent of Ireland's total wind energy generation.

The investment bank, which started in 1997, as a network of office in Bahrain, London, Atlanta and Singapore.

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