Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (237)

Seán Fleming

Question:

237. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the gross consideration being paid by the purchaser of Bord Gáis Energy; the total costs that are being incurred in the sale process; the way these costs are broken down; the net cash that the State will receive from the sale; the date on which the State will receive the proceeds of the sale; the manner in which the cash will be deployed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15297/14]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I am happy to inform the House that BGE last week entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Bord Gáis Energy business to a consortium comprising Centrica plc, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP and iCON Infrastructure on the basis of an enterprise value of €1.1bn. BGE and the buyer consortium must now move to deliver on the conditions for completion of this transaction, including a restructuring of the energy business into three separate companies and the completion of a number of regulatory processes, and it is currently expected that the sale will be completed within Q2 2014.

The final sale price and net receipts to the State will be subject to adjustments at completion for certain balance sheet items, such as  net debt and working capital, and the level of certain of BG Energy's earnings from 1 January 2014 to completion (the value of which will be retained by BGE). The Board of BGE will then begin paying special dividends to the Exchequer, commencing immediately following completion, as funds are both available and required. The total costs incurred by the State during this sale process will not be established until the deal is completed, at which stage they will be disclosed.

As I have previously informed the House, part of the receipts from the sale will be used to invest in infrastructure as part of a stimulus programme. Because of Government Accounting rules, not all of this money can be counted as general government receipts in one year, the receipts and hence the expenditure will therefore be spread over a multi-annual period. I have already indicated that additional capital investment has been authorised to deal with the flooding crisis and the determination of the amount of money available for further stimulus investment will be considered in this context.