I Squared Said to Explore Sale of Irish Power Firm Viridian

(Bloomberg) -- I Squared Capital, the private equity firm led by former Morgan Stanley executives, is considering a sale of Irish power producer Viridian Group Holdings Ltd., people with knowledge of the matter said.

The infrastructure-focused investment firm is sounding out potential buyers to gauge their interest in Viridian, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. I Squared acquired Viridian for about 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in 2016, the people said.

Viridian operates both gas-fired power plants and wind generation assets. Its subsidiaries, Energia Group and Power NI, account for about 27 percent of combined business electricity sales in Ireland and Northern Ireland, according to its website.

The company employs about 630 staff and has an annual revenue of around 1.5 billion euros, the website shows. Any sale would add to the $180 billion of utility deals announced since the start of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. Representatives for I Squared and Viridian declined to comment.

I Squared said recently it’s raised $7 billion for its second fund with an eye to invest in energy, utilities, transport and telecommunications deals worldwide. Its recent deals include the purchase of TIP Trailer Services, a trailer-leasing business acquired from China’s embattled HNA Group Co. Last year, it bought the fixed-line assets of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hong Kong telecommunications business for HK$14.5 billion ($1.85 billion).

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.