Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ovo Energy snaps at heels of Big Six with Corgi HomePlan takeover



Ovo Energy will confirm its status as the most aggressive challenger to the politically besieged 'Big Six' gas and electricity suppliers this week when it snaps up ‎the UK's third-largest home services provider.
 
Sky News has learnt that Ovo has agreed to buy Corgi HomePlan, which installs and maintains boilers, thermostats and other domestic technology.


The deal, which will cost Ovo and undisclosed sum, is expected to be announced on Friday, according to people close to the talks.


It will mark a further bold move for Stephen Fitzpatrick, Ovo's founder and chief executive, as he attempts to transform it into a technology-led company which offers customers a complete range of ‎energy-related services.


The timing of the deal is also notable, since it comes in a week when both the Conservatives and Labour have pledged to reform energy sector as part of their pre-election drives to convince voters that they are on the side of ordinary consumers.


The Tories have said they will ask Ofgem, the industry regulator, to supervise a price cap for customers on standard variable tariffs, while a leaked draft of Labour's‎ manifesto suggests the party would establish publicly-owned energy providers in every region of the country.


Ovo, which Mr Fitzpatrick set up in 2009, has built a customer ‎base which stands at nearly 700,000.
In 2015, he sold a stake to Mayfair Equity Partners, a London-based investment firm.
 
 
Although its route to profitability has at times been bumpy, Ovo announced last autumn that it had made a record £30.4m pre-tax profit in the first half of 2016.


Mr Fitzpatrick has been a trenchant critic of the big six suppliers, which include British Gas and SSE, for failing to provide their customers with reasonably valued tariffs or acceptable levels of service.


Some so-called challenger‎ brands in the sector have, nevertheless, criticised the proposals for a price cap on the grounds that it will reduce the scope for smaller players to market themselves competitively to new customers.


Corgi HomePlan, which is also privately owned, operates through a network of approximately 5,000 engineers, and provides home maintenance insurance plans to about 150,000 UK customers.




SKY      News.