A&O and McCanns lead for Bord Gais as Irish asset sale begins

Allen & Overy (A&O) and McCann Fitzgerald have won lead roles as Ireland’s state-owned energy provider Bord Gáis Éireann (BGE) prepares to sell off its energy business in the first major asset sale by the Irish government.

McCanns corporate partner Barry Devereux and energy head Patricia Lawless will lead the firm’s work as principal legal adviser for BGE. Chairman John Cronin also assisted in pitching for the job.

Meanwhile A&O will provide additional advice to BGE and its financial adviser, the Royal Bank of Canada, on the sale. Bord Gáis Énergy is expected to raise over €1bn (£850m).

The sale is being coordinated by the New Economy and Recovery Authority (NewERA), a branch of the National Treasury Management Agency. NewERA oversees the corporate governance and disposal of assets of several state-owned companies including BGE.

A&L Goodbody has been instructed by NewERA for the BGE sale.

Background to this deal:

McCanns has acted for BGE for many years. Most recently the firm advised BGE on a €500m bond issue, successfully completed in November last year. A&O provided English law advice to the trustee, Deutsche Trustee Company, and the joint lead managers on that deal.

The Irish state is committed to selling off around €3bn (£2.6bn) of assets under the terms of its bailout by the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Other assets which could be sold off include a stake in Aer Lingus, some power generation capacity currently owned by the Electricity Supply Board, and forestry assets.