Ireland Halts Sale of Gas Company

November 28, 2013

The Irish government stopped the sale of its state gas company on November 27 after failing to receive any acceptable bids, saying that however short of cash, it would not agree to a "bargain basement sale", AFP has reported.

"The bids that have come through do not represent an acceptable price in our judgement," said energy minister Pat Rabbitte.

He added: "Unless we have got a fair price we have repeatedly made plain that there would be no bargain basement sale."

Dublin agreed to the sale of a number of state assets as part of Ireland's commitments under its EU-IMF bailout programme, hoping to raise 3.0 billion euros ($4.08 billion).

But with just a few weeks to go until Ireland becomes the first eurozone country to exit a rescue programme, it is falling well short of its target.

The sale of the retail arm of the state gas company, Bord Gais Energy, was expected to raise up to 1.4 billion euros.

Copyright: AFP, 2013