News & Media
Press Releases

Joint Statement from ESB and Viridian

December 21, 2010

ESB concludes NIE acquisition

ESB has today (December 21) successfully concluded the acquisition of NIE, the Northern

Ireland electricity networks business, from the Arcapita Bank-owned Viridian Group for c.

£1.2 billion. ESB entered into a conditional share purchase agreement to acquire NIE on 6

July 2010.

As part of the acquisition, ESB has also acquired certain associated companies of NIE,

including NIE Powerteam Limited and Powerteam Electrical Services (UK) Limited,

which provide electrical construction and maintenance services. In total, the NIE Group

employs approximately 1,300 staff. NIE’s Regulated Asset Base at 31 March 2010 was

£1,007 million.

NIE will continue to operate as a stand-alone business under the NIE brand and identity.

Arcapita will continue to own the Viridian Group, which it acquired in 2006. Its principal

businesses following completion of the transaction will be Viridian Power & Energy

which operates gas-fired and renewable generation and supplies electricity and gas on an

all-island basis, the Power Procurement business and NIE Energy Supply. These

businesses are not included in the disposal and continue to employ approximately 340


ESB Chief Executive, Padraig McManus, said: “We are delighted with the acquisition of

NIE, an efficient and successful company. ESB is committed to making the capital

investment required to match future growth in the economy and to meet the Northern

Ireland government’s targets in relation to the development of renewable energy”.

Viridian Group Chairman, Patrick Haren, said: “Under Viridian Group's

ownership, NIE has strengthened its network capacity and improved significantly its

service delivery to customers. Under its new owners, it will meet the challenge of grid

development and delivering increasing volumes of renewable energy to customers. We

wish our colleagues at NIE very well for the future. Viridian Group, under Arcapita's

continuing ownership, will now be focused on our very significant generation and supply




NIE owns the regulated electricity transmission and distribution network in Northern

Ireland and is responsible for the planning, development, construction and maintenance of

the entire network, as well as the operation of the distribution network. The transmission

and distribution network in Northern Ireland comprises approximately 2,100km of the

high voltage transmission system and approximately 42,900km of the low voltage

distribution system. NIE Powerteam Limited provides construction and maintenance

services exclusively to the transmission and distribution network. Powerteam Electrical

Services provides similar services to third party electricity distribution businesses and to

other industrial customers.

Founded in 1927, ESB is one of Ireland’s leading companies with an annual revenue of

more than €3 billion and approximately 6,800 employees. A vertically integrated utility

with generation, networks and supply businesses, as well as a highly successful

international business, ESB’s annual capital investment is in the region of €1.1 billion.

Over the past decade, ESB has undertaken a €6 billion investment programme to

successfully refurbish the Republic of Ireland’s electricity infrastructure. It has now

embarked on the implementation of a €22 billion investment strategy, which will make the

company carbon-neutral by 2035; half of this spend is directed at developing renewable

energy generation and smart networks. Further details on ESB can be found at

Viridian Power & Energy is an integrated generation and supply business comprising

modern gas-fired generation at Huntstown in the Republic of Ireland, Energia, a leading

supplier of electricity and gas to business customers across the island of Ireland and a

growing windfarm portfolio. NIE Energy Supply is a regulated supplier to c.800,000

residential and business customers in Northern Ireland. Power Procurement, also a

regulated business, administers c.1,000MW of generation capacity under contract in

Northern Ireland.

Headquartered in Bahrain with offices in Atlanta, London and Singapore, Arcapita’s four

principal lines of business are Infrastructure, Private Equity, Real Estate, and Venture

Capital. To date, the Bank has completed 71 transactions with a total value of more than

$28.4 billion and has an equity capital base of $1.3 billion, and $7.9 billion in funds under

management. Arcapita’s mission is to provide innovative and distinctive investment

opportunities that generate superior risk-adjusted returns while adhering to Islamic

principles. Further details on Arcapita can be found at


For further Information, please contact:


Brian Montayne 00 353 87 8211715


Tim Doyne +973-17-218-333


Alwyn Whitford: +44 28 90689483

Back To Press Releases