Octopus Energy has won the race for Bulb’s 1.5 million customers in a deal the government will help fund their gas and electricity supply costs this winter.
The acquisition, announced on Saturday morning, will see Bulb walk away from an effective nationalization that has cost taxpayers more than £4 billion, after it became a major energy retailer The UK’s most and most senior collapsed last year.
Bulb was Britain’s seventh-biggest home energy supplier when it collapsed in November due to soaring energy prices and an inability to buy gas in advance, but was thought to be too large at the time to be sold by the energy developers. provide other absorption.
Its bailout is expected to be the most expensive since rescuing RBS during the 2008 financial crisis.
Octopus has been Bulb’s frontrunner since the summer but had to see off a Eleventh bid from rival Ovo Energy appeared this month.
The private company did not disclose exactly how much it pays to reach Bulb customers, but says it believes it is paying a premium compared to what energy retailers have paid when taking on customers. of other failed suppliers last year.
The company said the government would enter into a profit-sharing agreement over the next four years, without disclosing how it would be structured.
The government will help finance the purchase of gas and electricity for Bulb’s 1.5 million customers this winter. Under Treasury rules, which restrict hedging, Bulb cannot pre-purchase gas and electricity.
It was previous report that, according to people close to Octopus’ bid, Octopus had asked the government to block Bulb’s fuel purchases at a cost of around £1 billion, although the government would be reimbursed once the energy had been used. .
Major customers’ credit balances will be automatically transferred to their new accounts with Octopus along with their existing direct debits, the company said.
Early this year Octopus take over Avro Energy’s 580,000 customers, another failed company.
Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said the purchase “will provide peace of mind and vital energy security to consumers across the country when they need it most”. “This is a fresh start.”
Greg Jackson, chief executive officer of Octopus, said: “We will work incredibly hard to deliver value to our taxpayers and take care of Bulb employees and customers. We started out as competitors but with the same mission – to promote a cheaper, greener energy system with people at the center. We know how important this is to Bulb’s loyal customers and dedicated staff, and are determined that Octopus can provide them with a stable home in the future.”