Co-op Energy snapped up by rival in latest market shake-up

Octopus Energy has agreed to by rival Co-op Energy, headquartered in Warwick, in a deal which will see it become one of the UK’s fastest growing energy suppliers.

Octopus will acquire most Co-op Energy’s 370,000 customers to add to its own 800,000 client base, taking it over the one million mark.

Midcounties co-operative CEO Phil Ponsonby, said: “The Midcounties board is extremely proud of what has been achieved by our energy business since we entered a market dominated by just a few energy companies back in 2011. At that time 99% of supply came from the Big Six and there were fewer than 12 companies in the market. Today there are over 70 and we firmly believe that we disrupted the market and played our part in reducing the dominance of the big players by providing fair prices, supplying 100% green electricity and supporting community energy projects all across the UK.

“The market is now more competitive than ever, and it is clear to us that having the best technology is absolutely critical to delivering the best service to customers while maintaining a sustainable business for the longer term. Octopus have developed what we consider to be the most innovative and customer focused technology anywhere in the industry today. But it isn’t just about technology, one of our strategic objectives is to make our members lives easier and our Board was insistent that in looking for a partner, we found an organisation that shared our values, and put customers, colleagues and the environment at the heart of what they do. Octopus firmly meet these requirements and we are delighted to be partnering with them.”

Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, said: “This acquisition and our ongoing partnership with Midcounties is another step on the road to improving the domestic energy market for good. Our renewable energy supply and outstanding technology is now delivering award winning service to over a million homes in the UK with 100% green electricity as standard. Co-op is one of the most well-respected British brands and we’re delighted to be working with them alongside our other cherished partners.

“I am also very excited about our joint venture for Community energy. We have been hugely impressed by Co-op Energy’s achievement in this area and we believe that together we can help even more people from across the UK to come together in developing new sources of sustainable power.”

Octopus entered the market in 2016 and has been growing by around 30,000 customers a month.

It bought rival Affect Energy in September last year, and took on customers from Iresa after it collapsed in December.

Co-Op Energy also acquired 160,000 customers from GB Energy Supply after it collapsed in 2016, and added 130,000 more following its takeover of Flow Energy last year.

However, the utility has been battling widening losses which were posted in the Co-op’s financial report earlier this year.

The report suggested the possibility that the company, part of the Midcounties Co-op, could be offloaded in a move to protect the wider business.

The news comes as the UK’s energy companies have been looking at consolidation opportunities as trading conditions have toughened.

Earlier this month, Solarplicity became the 13th energy company to collapse in 20 months as smaller firms have struggled.

But even the big six energy suppliers have sought out greater stability and security, although SSE and Npower’s planned merger did not succeed.

 

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