Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (476, 477, 478)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

476. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide details of the tendering process put in place prior to the sale of Arramara Teo. [22765/14]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

477. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will provide the names of the companies that tendered for Arramara Teo and of the successful bidder. [22766/14]

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Peadar Tóibín

Question:

478. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Arts; Heritage and the Gaeltacht if the tendering process or sale of Arramara Teo was advertised and were potential partners for the company approached by Údarás for a declaration of interest. [22767/14]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 476 to 478, inclusive, together.

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions Nos. 155 and 156 of 17 April 2014 regarding this matter.

As I indicated in that reply, I understand that Údarás na Gaeltachta considered that the most appropriate mechanism was to engage consultants to identify potential strategic partners in the seaweed industry for the purpose of securing the future development of Arramara Teo. As a result, Údarás na Gaeltachta engaged consultants RSM FGS to assist in identifying a potential strategic partner for Arramara Teo.

I have been informed by Údarás na Gaeltachta that RSM FGS compiled a list of nine potential partners who were invited to submit expressions of interest. I understand that six expressions of interest were received, which were assessed and shortlisted to three preferred potential partners ranked first, second, and third. I understand that the first ranked preferred potential partner was granted a period of exclusivity in order to enable it to undertake a process of due diligence and that it subsequently indicated that it was no longer interested in Arramara Teo. As the next ranked preferred potential partner, I understand that negotiations were opened with Acadian Seaplants Ltd, which culminated in the sale to it of Údarás na Gaeltachta's shares in Arramara Teo.

Finally, I have been informed by Údarás na Gaeltachta that, having regard to confidentiality issues, they are not in a position at this juncture to disclose the identity of the companies who expressed an interest in forming a strategic partnership with Arramara Teo. However, Údarás na Gaeltachta have confirmed that they will be in direct communication with the Deputy in respect of this matter shortly.