Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has agreed to buy Ireland’s biggest electricity and gas provider as part of a €1.1bn (£920m) deal.
The UK energy company will acquire Bord Gáis Energy (BGE), the retail arm of Ireland’s state-owned energy company Bord Gáis Éireann, and the Whitegate gas-fired power station in County Cork.
“This is a unique opportunity for Centrica to take a first step in a neighbouring market with strong links to the UK,” said Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of Centrica, said in a statement.
BGE has around 650,000 residential gas and electricity users and 30,000 business accounts.
Centrica acquired the business as part of a consortium. Its partners, ICON Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, will purchase Bord Gáis’ distribution and renewable power generation assets, respectively.
The British Gas owner, which has come under pressure in Britain for its dominant position in the gas and electricity supply market, said the enterprise value of its share of the deal would be €210m (£175m).
The Irish government had put the Bord Gáis assets up for sale as part of its privatisation programme.