Belfast Telegraph

Electricity deal creates a warm feeling all over

At the end of an eventful year for business news north and south of the border, we're able to close with one of the most hotly anticipated transactions in Northern Ireland in a number of years.

Irish state-owned company ESB finally completed its acquisition of NIE yesterday, after complications affecting Viridian's lenders were settled.

The deal had met with other problems, as an array of unionist politicians united in opposition to the prospect of an Irish company owning a prime cut of the province's infrastructure. Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott, his predecessor Sir Reg Empey and First Minister Peter Robinson were all aghast at the prospect, and weren't afraid to say so.

But there was silence from those quarters yesterday, indicating either a Yuletide lull in making statements or a sense of fait accompli about the matter.

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