Centrica has reportedly pulled out of the auction to buy failed supplier Bulb, as the deadline to bid looms.
According to an article published by the Financial Times over the weekend (26 June), the energy giant and owner of British Gas has decided not to bid, leaving Octopus Energy and Masdar in the running.
Reports emerged just last week in the same paper that Octopus Energy is bidding for the supplier, although the company refused to comment.
Unlike the other suppliers that collapsed amid the squeeze – with 28 shuttered since September 2021 – Bulb was too large to be absorbed by the Supplier of Last Resort mechanism. As such, the government stepped in to protect its 1.6 million customers by placing the company into special administration.
The company is being run by Teneo whilst a buyer is found, and is expected to cost the government £2.2 billion. In the six months since nationalisation, Bulb has lost £886 million, noted the Financial Times.
Lazard is handling the sale of the company, with closing bids due on Thursday 30 June, and a sale expected in July.
Current± spoke to Centrica about the reports that it was pulling out of the auction, but the company said it does not comment on speculation.
Centrica has previously acquired Robin Hood Energy’s customer base following the council-owned supplier running into financial struggles, as well as acquiring Nabuh Energy in 2021. Its customer numbers have grown over the past year as it took on customers from numerous collapsed suppliers, taking on around 500,000 customers in the second half of 2021 and a further 176,000 in January 2022.