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Wed 2 Dec 2015 09:42 AM

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Bahrain's Arcapita seeks bids for Northern Ireland energy supplier

Sources say Viridian Group owner is seeking first round bids; likely to attract interest from Centrica

Bahrain's Arcapita seeks bids for Northern Ireland energy supplier

Viridian Group Ltd's Bahraini owner, Arcapita Bank, is seeking first-round bids for Northern Ireland’s largest energy supplier next month, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Arcapita, which is being advised by Evercore Partners Inc in London, has called for bids on Jan. 15, said one of the people, who asked not to be named as the process is private. The Belfast-based company may be worth as much as 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), the Irish Independent reported in September.

A spokesman for Viridian declined to comment, while officials at Arcapita didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Viridian, which was bought by Arcapita in 2006, is likely to attract interest from Centrica Plc, according to Joseph McGinley, an analyst with Davy, Ireland’s largest securities firm. Centrica led a group that bought Irish energy company Bord Gais Energy last year for 1.12 billion euros. A spokesman for Centrica, the biggest energy supplier to U.K. homes, declined to comment.

Arcapita filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US in 2012 after talks with creditors over a syndicated loan failed, before exiting bankruptcy a year later after securing a $350 million loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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