Octopus Energy has agreed to acquire 70,000 household customers from Engie, the French power group. The deal is the fast-growing gas and electricity supplier’s sixth acquisition in two years and means that it has more than 1.4 million customers, about 5 per cent of the UK market. Its rapid growth continues the restructuring of a market that for years was dominated by the “Big Six” suppliers but one that has been shaken up by new entrants and a government-ordered price cap. Engie, minority-owned by the French state, has decided to make “a strategic exit from the UK domestic energy market”, which it entered in 2017, to focus on working with businesses and local authorities. Octopus Energy was launched in 2016. It reported a pre-tax loss of £7.4 million in 2018, when it ended the year with 500,000 customers, and is expected to have been heavily loss-making last year after investing in growth. However, unlike some new suppliers, its backers have deep pockets: the company is majority-owned by the Octopus Group, an investor with interests from property to renewables, with about £9 billion of funds under management.
Times 20th Jan 2020 read more »