Bahrain investment bank Arcapita plans to sell Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) to a subsidiary of Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) for £1.1bn ($1.67bn).

Arcapita purchased the power transmission and distribution company in 2006, when it bought the Viridian Group, of which NIE is the major subsidiary for £1.62bn. The Bahraini bank will continue to own the remaining parts of the Viridian business, which are also focused on the power sector in Northern Ireland.

The sale to ESB is expected to be finalised by the end of 2010.

Atif Abdulmalik, chief executive of Arcapita, said, “After a four year holding period, the transaction offers us an attractive way to realise value from within Viridian, stabilise the financial structure and focus on what we continue to believe are the excellent growth opportunities for our investors in the remaining business.”