Ecotricity, the green energy supplier founded by Dale Vince, has sparked rumours of a possible takeover bid for rival supplier Good Energy after acquiring a significant stake in the company.
A statement to the market issued late yesterday afternoon by Good confirmed that Ecotricity Group had purchased an additional 3.1 million shares in the company, taking its share from 5.58% to 24.85%.
Speaking to Clean Energy News, Ecotricity confirmed that it received an approach from Good Energy’s largest shareholder on Monday afternoon to purchase its entire holding.
“This holding represented just under 20% of the shares in Good Energy and, having taken this opportunity, Ecotricity’s holding now stands at just under 25%.”
Good Energy’s share price at the time stood at around 266.5p, equating Ecotricity’s investment to around £8.5 million.
Ecotricity would not be drawn into speculation linking it with a full takeover approach when contacted by CEN this morning, but should it acquire 30% or more of Good Energy’s total voting rights it would be obliged to make a mandatory offer for its outstanding shares, prompting a takeover approach.
Good Energy’s shareholders could resist the bid unless Ecotricity managed to take its holding beyond the 90% mark after which offers for the remaining voting rights at current share value must be accepted.
Earlier this month Ecotricity was listed in The Sunday Times’ Top Track 250 which recognises the fastest growing companies in the UK.
Ecotricity says that it has around 190,000 electricity customers in the UK and, last month, Good Energy confirmed that it had around 72,500 electricity customers in the UK.
In April this year the two suppliers were drawn into a spat over which company could claim to offer the UK’s ‘greenest tariffs’ after Tesla Motor’s challenged Ecotricity’s claim to supply the greenest electricity available in the UK.
When the Advertising Standards Agency ruled in Ecotricity’s favour, Good Energy complained that the advertising watchdog had failed to consider “suitable comparative data” before reaching its decision.
This story has been amended from its original version to include up to date customer numbers supplied by Ecotricity.