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Perth-based SSE given approval for £500 million sale of domestic energy business to Ovo

SSE's headquarters in Perth.
SSE's headquarters in Perth.

The sale of SSE’s domestic energy business to a rival has been cleared by the competitions watchdog.

In September Perth-headquartered SSE announced it had struck a £500 million deal to sell its energy services arm, which has around 5.7 million customers, to Ovo Group.

SSE has reassured its workforce there will be no redundancies as all 8,000 energy services staff, including those based at a contact centre in Perth, will transfer to Ovo as part of the deal.

The firms are working together to ensure a smooth transition for customers and employees before the transaction is expected to complete next month.

A statement from the Competition and Markets Authority yesterday said its investigation into the sale had concluded and the proposed transaction had been cleared.

Alistair Phillips-Davies, chief executive of SSE, said: “We are very pleased the CMA has cleared the proposed sale.

“This underlines our long-held belief that a dedicated, focused and independent retailer will ultimately best serve customers, employees and other stakeholders.

“With the required regulatory approvals now in place, we can make the final preparations for completion, expected around mid-January 2020.”

The energy boss said the sale would give SSE “even sharper focus to delivering the low carbon infrastructure” to help the UK meet its net zero emissions aims.

“We have a clear strategy around developing, operating and owning renewable energy and electricity network assets, along with growing businesses complementary to this core,” he added.

Last year SSE sought to spin off its domestic division and combine it with Npower, but the merger collapsed in December.

SSE said it had already separated its energy services business from the rest of the group so their teams are in separate and distinct parts of the SSE estate.

It also gave an assurance that SSE Group Plc will continue to be headquartered at Inveralmond House in Perth.

The deal will turn Ovo into one of Perth’s largest private sector employers and one of the UK’s largest energy suppliers overnight, having been founded 10 years ago.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive and founder of Ovo, said: “We’re delighted with the CMA’s decision and look forward to bringing SSE into the Ovo family.

“There is a lot of work to be done, but we’re excited about the challenge ahead and the opportunity to help even more customers on the journey to zero carbon.”

rmclaren@thecourier.co.uk

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