Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Npower and SSE merger agreement confirmed

Npower and SSE merger agreement confirmed

"We are very proud of what we've delivered over many years", said chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies.

British Gas, owned by FTSE 100-listed Centrica - together with Spanish-owned Scottish Power, German-owned E.On and France's EDF - now make up the rest of the Big Six.

SSE and Npower are facing a backlash over plans to merge their supply businesses, amid fears over the fate of nearly 16,000 United Kingdom employees and potential disruption for seven million household customers.

The deal will bolster second-ranked SSE, creating a supply group with 11 billion pounds ($14.5 billion) in combined sales that could kick off a consolidation in the British energy market where established firms are battling smaller, nimble rivals.

"We don't see how turning the Big Six into the Big Five will help consumers".

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Confirmation of the merger comes less than a month after draft legislation was published by the government to lower the cost of energy bills.

Reported profit before tax plunged 40.4% to £402.2 million, mainly due to SSE's partial equity disposal in October 2016, as well as the phasing of regulatory revenue, sharing of out-performance with customers and the phasing of capital expenditure on significant projects.

It said any deal would need to be approved by shareholders and regulators. "There are over 60 people competing in the market and if you look back to 2011, there were only eight".

Peter Terium, CEO of innogy SE, said: "We have made great progress in restructuring Npower over the past two years and have improved our performance considerably".

- SSE plans to demerge the new company by distributing shares to its shareholders.

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SSE will hold 65.6 percent of the new entity, which will not include its business retail and Ireland operations.

SSE said the creation of a new standalone retail business would allow it to focus "entirely on strategic and operational developments in the GB [British] retail sector, including the competitive and regulatory environment".

The firm said: "To the extent that any anticipated synergies result in implications for employees, no final decisions will be taken before any required consultation with employee representative bodies has taken place‎".

'We have an exciting opportunity to create a major new independent supplier with a single-minded focus on customers'.

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