Business Person of the Month January 2021: Eddie O’Connor, Mainstream Renewable Power, closes €1bn deal

Business Person of the Month, Editor's Choice | Tue 2 Feb | Author – Business & Finance
Eddie O'Connor Mainstream
Pictured: Eddie O’Connor, founder, Mainstream Renewable Power

Eddie O’Connor, founder of Mainstream Renewable Power, is to see Norwegian investments company Aker take control of the business in a €1 billion deal

Eddie O’Connor, founder of wind and solar energy group Mainstream Renewable Power, is to see Norwegian investments company Aker Horizons take control of the business in a €1 billion deal.

Aker Horizons, a company promoting renewable energy and green technology, will take a 75 per cent stake. Existing investors will have the option to cash in or follow Mr O’Connor, who will remain as company chairman. The company will remain under its current branding, and its current management team.

“This partnership is the crucial next step in the vision we set out for Mainstream in 2008, to lead the global transition to renewable energy and rid the world of CO2 emissions,” said Mr O’Connor. “It means we can widen our scope for entry into new markets and further deepen and expand our leadership position in existing ones, such as in Chile where we will soon be supplying the equivalent of one in seven Chilean homes with power from our wind and solar facilities.”

Mr O’Connor currently owns approximately 55 per cent of Mainstream. The deal values Mr O’Connor’s 55 per cent stake at as much as €550 million.

Mainstream chief executive Mary Quaney said: “[We are] firmly on track to becoming one of the world’s first pure-play renewable energy majors.”

Mr O’Connor holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin, and has a doctorate in Business Administration from the International Management Centres, Europe. He later held several managerial positions at the Electricity Supply Board of Ireland. In 1987, he became Chief Executive Officer at Bord na Móna.

Mr O’Connor later founded and became chief executive of Airtricity, the Irish wind farm development company, from 1997 to 2008. He founded Mainstream Renewable Power in 2008.

Speaking to Business & Finance, Mr O’Connor said: “It is great to get this recognition from Business & Finance; Aker are a wonderful partner and this deal really cements Mainstream’s position as a global leader in the renewable energy sector during this critical decade in our fight against global warming.

“Here in Ireland we have a world-class offshore wind resource and if our government gets it right, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to establish a huge industry here, creating tens of thousands of new jobs and exporting vast amounts of surplus power to Europe.”

Business & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business Person the MonthBusiness & Finance, in association with KPMG, rewards excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award. This award seeks to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and, particularly, those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.