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Our privatisation team comprises a group of senior commercial  partners and lawyers who have extensive experience and skills in providing legal and commercial advice to national and international clients on all aspects of privatisation.

Re-organisation of government entities, legal restructuring, regulatory reform and labour relations are all key features of the privatisation process. Matheson is an acknowledged market leader in these areas by independent legal directories.  Our experience of re-organisation of Government entities includes leading roles in the re-organisation of Aer Rianta plc and the establishment of Dublin Airport Authority, Cork Airport Authority and Shannon Airport Authority and the re-organisation of the National Oil Reserve Agency, as well as specialist roles in the transfer of ESB National Grid employees to Eirgrid and the transfer of employees from a government agency to the Health Service Executive.

Matheson has also been a major player in the electricity and gas liberalisation process, acting for governments, industry participants, financiers and developers.  We advised the regulators in Ireland and Northern Ireland in relation to the establishment of the Single Electricity Market for the Island of Ireland.

Where we have worked on banking privatisations, we have been involved in the licensing of the relevant banks under the Central Bank Acts as well as the liaison with the Central Bank of Ireland in order to obtain approval to privatisations under the acquiring transaction rules. Our expertise has also covered issues relating to the primary supervision of relevant banks moving from the Central Bank of Ireland to outside the State and the Central Bank of Ireland obtaining comfort from international banks regarding the funding of privatised banks within the State.

One of the key stakeholders in any privatisation is the employees and we have extensive experience  in advising on the industrial relations and employment law issues which will arise on the transfer of employees from the public to the private sector, in particular the statutory protections normally afforded to employees and the setting up of Employee Share Ownership Plans and pension arrangements in order to achieve employee agreement to the privatisation.

We have a first rate, established track record of advising the Irish Government and Government  Agencies at all levels on complex, unique and often politically sensitive projects.

We have extensive experience and knowledge of the considerations and tactics of acting on the bidder / investor side.

We can draw on multidisciplinary teams of specialists who are acknowledged leaders in their field tailored to each project.

Our approachable and responsive partners can offer innovative solutions and have the project management skills to ensure the efficient and timely execution of the project.

Experience Highlights

Our privatisation team has been involved in some of Ireland’s most significant privatisations in recent years including:

  • the sale by the State owned Electricity Supply Board of a portfolio of electricity generation assets to Endesa S.A following a competitive process
  • the sale of the State owned Whitegate Oil Refinery and Bantry Oil Storage Terminal and other assets of the Irish National Petroleum Corporation to Tosco Corporation following a competitive process
  • the sale of the State’s 100% shareholding in ACC Bank to Rabobank
  • the sale of the State’s 100% shareholding in ICC Bank to Bank of Scotland

In these transactions we have provided innovative and commercially focussed advice to both public sector owners and acquirers, financiers and equity investors on all facets of privatisation. In particular, our team’s national and international strengths in mergers and acquisitions, financing, competition and State aid, utilities and infrastructure have added significant value to our clients in privatisation transactions.


"An excellent team - practical and pragmatic with a sensible approach to guide the company through the various aspects."
Chambers Europe 2015

Matheson provides "excellent advice in a timely and professional manner".
European Legal 500 2015

The firm is "extraordinary in terms of business acumen and legal advice."
European Legal 500 2014

"It really knows the local market and did a good job of anticipating our needs and providing us with practical advice."
Chambers Europe 2013

"It is a responsive, commercially minded and business-savvy practice."
Chambers Europe 2012