Arcapita scraps £2bn Viridian auction

The auction process for the Irish power group attracted acceptable bids, but concerns over their ‘deliverability’ have led Arcapita to put the sale on ice.

Bahrain-based Arcapita has pulled the £2 billion (€2.4 billion; $3 billion) auction of Irish power company Viridian, questioning the “deliverability” of the offers received, a spokesman for the firm has confirmed.

The auction was being run by Dresdner Kleinwort and had attracted interest from trade bidders RWE, the German utility company, and Bord Gáis, the Irish state-owned power company.

Arcapita had hoped to raise £1.7 billion to £2 billion from the sale of Viridian. It originally acquired the Irish power supplier in a take-private from the London and Dublin stock exchanges in November 2006 for around £1.62 billion.

The sale of Viridian, which included subsidiary companies Energia and Huntstown Power, had attracted offers in line with Arcapita’s expectations, but the vendor could not be confident that offers were “deliverable” given the current difficulty securing bank finance.

Concerns over the deliverability of bids in the current credit environment led Montagu Private Equity to cancel the €1.9 billion auction of German medical supplies company BSN medical in October.

Arcapita invests in industries including logistics, retail, consumer products, energy, specialised manufacturing and healthcare. The firm was unavailable to comment on the process.