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Cross Border Power Deal Snubbed
CulzieDate: Monday, 2010-09-20, 8:15 PM | Message # 1
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Is this not a bit late in the day for this? Is it not a 'done deal'? Maybe they are trying to recover from their ''irish labels on Ulster goods'' fiasco Laurel and Hardy. rolleyes

Belfast Telegraph
Cross-border power takeover snubbed
Monday, 20 September 2010

Unionist leaders have written to the Irish government objecting to the Republic's electricity provider ESB buying Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE), it has been confirmed.

The protest over the £1billion deal came from DUP leader Peter Robinson and Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey in a letter to Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

They claimed the business deal had major political implications, and said it amounted to the purchase of "a key component of our national infrastructure".

This comes despite comments by Energy Minister Arlene Foster who said she had received assurances from her counterpart in Dublin, Eamon Ryan, that the status and identity of the Northern Ireland company will be protected.

Similar pledges were made by both companies who said the business deal was subject to monopoly reviews and other tests in the Republic and the UK before the sale, which is due to be completed by the end of the year.

But Mr Empey and Mr Robinson indicated that they had serious concerns over the issue, and their intervention was praised by would-be Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott.

Their letter added: "We firmly believe the two networks, north and south, can operate successfully together and bring economies and efficiencies but it is entirely inappropriate, while ESB remains an Irish state asset, and beyond the reach of any private intervention, for it to acquire the Northern Ireland grid.

"I am sure you will appreciate the political outcry that would have emerged if the Northern Ireland Executive, or the UK government, sought to acquire the entire network of the Republic of Ireland."

Tom Elliott said he had monitored the issue and shared the concerns of the unionist leaders.

He said: "I'm just not prepared to have the Northern Ireland commercial sector subjected either to that sort of constitutionally invasive deal."


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
RSAUBDate: Monday, 2010-09-20, 9:01 PM | Message # 2
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Good news, but you wouldn't know the full story of what's going on behind the scenes.
 
CulzieDate: Monday, 2010-09-20, 10:05 PM | Message # 3
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To my understanding its already happened RSAUB. Unless I've picked it up wrong I thought I read the deal was done. I was thinking maybe it was a damaged limitations thing. Empey and Robinson trying to make up for the gaffe they made over the Ulster goods.'' Look at us now we are fighting Ulster's corner''. If they pull it off fair enough,though I would like to see them retract their Irish label waffle also and go out and market and establish the Ulster name on goods as a produce which a lot of people would be wanting to buy.

Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
CulzieDate: Wednesday, 2010-09-22, 3:04 PM | Message # 4
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Foster urged to state NIE position
Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Unionist opposition to the Republic's electricity provider ESB buying Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has seen DUP Energy Minister Arlene Foster come under pressure to state her position.

Her party leader, First Minister Peter Robinson, wrote a joint letter with Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey to Taoiseach Brian Cowen objecting to the deal.

But Ms Foster had already publicly backed the plan, having sought assurances from her Dublin counterpart, Minister Eamon Ryan.

The SDLP has objected to the intervention by the unionist leaders, noting that the NIE grid they described as "a key component of our national infrastructure", is currently owned by Bahrain-based investment bank Arcapita.

In July, three weeks before the unionist leaders' letter was sent to the Irish government, Ms Foster said she had already secured assurances over the £1 billion deal which is due to be formally completed by the end of this year.

"I have received assurances from ESB on a range of issues relating to the transaction. These include ESB investment plans, the importance of securing existing jobs, and maintaining the identity of the electricity network business in Northern Ireland," she said at the time.

"I will continue to keep a close watch as the transaction proceeds towards completion, to ensure the interests of electricity consumers in Northern Ireland are being properly considered."

But the letter co-signed by her leader read: "We firmly believe the two networks, north and south, can operate successfully together and bring economies and efficiencies, but it is entirely inappropriate, while ESB remains an Irish state asset and beyond the reach of any private intervention, for it to acquire the Northern Ireland grid.

"I am sure you will appreciate the political outcry that would have emerged if the Northern Ireland Executive, or the UK Government, sought to acquire the entire network of the Republic of Ireland."

Industry experts have said there are precedents for state-owned energy companies buying grids in other jurisdictions, but the political fallout from the Northern Ireland purchase threatened to escalate.


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
CulzieDate: Wednesday, 2010-09-29, 9:40 PM | Message # 5
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Not only ESB....

http://enviroireland.com/?p=1349


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
CulzieDate: Wednesday, 2010-11-17, 2:33 PM | Message # 6
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NIE owners push ahead with £1bn sale to ESB
By Donal O'Donovan and Maragaret Canning
Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Middle Eastern owners of Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) parent company Viridian hope to restart a stalled £1bn sale to the Republic’s state electricity company ESB by separating the deal from their own struggling refinancing efforts.

The sale has been blocked since September — with senior and junior lenders bitterly divided on how the proceeds should be split.

But senior lenders of Viridian — previously in line for all of the money — have been asked to consider a new plan by today. If an informal poll of senior lenders looks favourable, the company will press ahead.

Viridian is owned by Bahrain-based Arcapita.

To protest from Unionist politicians, ESB announced in July that it had agreed to buy NIE, which controls Northern Ireland’s electricity transmission and distribution networks, from its owner Viridian, for £1bn. The purchase would give ESB ownership of Northern Ireland’s national grid and control of over £6bn worth of transmission and distribution assets.

Junior lenders of Viridian want a share of the proceeds — earmarked to repay some of Viridian's £1.8bn in debt — but the senior lenders insist they are first in line.

Lenders have a veto because Viridian tied the ESB deal to a complicated refinancing of some £800m it cannot repay from the sale money. It means a unanimous lender agreement is needed to get the deal done.

A spokeswoman for Viridian said the company would not comment on speculation.

But it’s understood Viridian still expects the deal to go through even if the original completion target of the end of this year has to be delayed.

Economist John Simpson said he believed the deal would still go through.

“On the face of it, it looks like Viridian has run into difficulties but it seems they have found a way round the difficulty.”

An adviser acting on the deal indicated the company had come up with an alternative two-step plan — in which the sale and refinancing will be separated out.

Viridian reckons a sale could be approved by a vote of only the most senior lenders, with junior lenders forced to accept the deal by “deemed consent” if the company can show they are not materially damaged.

Viridian has tried to sweeten the pill by creating a £200m pool to settle some junior debt. Half will be paid in by the company but half would come from the ESB purchase price. The Republic’s Competition Authority last week cleared the acquisition.

Brian Montayne, of the ESB, said: “This is another milestone for us. While there are other issues to be closed out, things are going well and we’re on course to complete the transaction by year-end.”

First Minister Peter Robinson and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster were divided over the deal.

Mr Robinson sent a ‘hands off’ warning to Dublin over the £1bn deal, while Mrs Foster lauded the venture, praising the Republic’s semi-state provider ESB. But the Minister explained her pro-deal stance was due to commercial and departmental considerations.

The DUP and UUP sent a joint |letter to Taoiseach Brian Cowen, telling him they disapproved of ESB’s foray into Northern Ireland.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/busines....26.html


Ulster Protestants consider themselves to be a separate nation. This nation they call Ulster
 
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timothyferrissDate: Wednesday, 2024-07-10, 9:37 AM | Message # 9
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Their objections and concerns reflected broader anxieties retro bowl about cross-border business deals impacting national sovereignty and infrastructure security.
 
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